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Spending on domestic travel up 3.2 percent


Tuesday 12th July 2011

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Spending on domestic travel rose 3.2 percent to $9 billion in the year to March, despite the strength of the dollar increasing the attractiveness of overseas trips.

The data is from the Ministry of Economic Development's latest domestic travel survey, published today, and compares with a 6 percent fall in spending by international tourists.

Ministry tourism research and evaluation manager Peter Ellis said the fact domestic tourism was consolidating its recovery from a slight low point during 2010 was good news for the sector.

Many firms in the tourism industry were suffering, hurt by the Christchurch earthquakes, the recent ash cloud, and a late start to the ski season.

While some of the increased domestic travel spending was on transport due to higher petrol prices, domestic tourists were spending more on recreation as well as gifts and souvenirs than they were a year ago, Ellis said.

The ministry's annual telephone domestic travel survey of 15,000 people suggested business travel spending rose by 10 percent from the year before, to $2.8b, while those visiting friends and family also spent more.

But spending by domestic holidaymakers dropped by 2.4 percent, possibly because more New Zealanders were taking holidays overseas, the ministry said.

In total, travellers took 15.7 million overnight trips and 29.8 million day trips during the year. They spent 48.4 million nights away from home, an average of three nights per overnight trip. Travellers spent almost $200 per trip, with business travellers spending the most with $235 per visit.

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