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Tourism satellite account: year ended March 2020

The contribution made by tourism to the New Zealand economy
Data Tourism New Zealand

This report provides a picture of the role tourism plays in New Zealand, with information on the changing levels and impact of tourism activity. It presents information on tourism’s contribution to the New Zealand economy in terms of expenditure and employment. Results cover provisional figures for the year ended March 2020 and detailed results for 2019.

Key findings:

  • Total tourism expenditure was $41.9 billion, an increase of 2.4 percent ($1.0 billion) from the previous year. 
  • International tourism expenditure increased 2.2 percent ($371 million) to $17.5 billion, and contributed 20.1 percent to New Zealand’s total exports of goods and services.
  • International student expenditure (studying less than 12 months) was $4.2 billion, an increase of 7.7 percent.
  • Domestic tourism expenditure increased 2.7 percent ($629 million) to $24.4 billion.
  • Tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $16.4 billion, or 5.5 percent of GDP.
  • The indirect value added of industries supporting tourism generated an additional $11.3 billion, or 3.8 percent of GDP.
  • 225,384 people were directly employed in tourism (8.0 percent of the total number of people employed in New Zealand), an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous year.
  • Tourists generated $3.9 billion in goods and services tax (GST) revenue, with $1.8 billion coming from international tourists.
  • Overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand decreased 5.6 percent.
Editor's note

The March 2020 annual estimates featured capture a very limited period of the initial emergence and impact of COVID-19 in New Zealand. The extent of COVID-19’s impact will be evident in Tourism satellite account: Year ended March 2021, to be published in December 2021.

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