Tourism set to overtake dairy as largest export earner

It’s often claimed that New Zealand has become too reliant on dairy trade. Milk products are certainly a significant and important part of our economy, but that’s far from all that keeps things ticking over.

While dairy has been getting a lot of the attention the tourism sector has been quietly growing and is set to become our biggest export earner. NZ Herald reports:

Gloombusters: Tourism drives economy higher

New Zealand’s tourism sector is on track to overtake dairy as New Zealand’s biggest export earner and the country will soon crack three million visitors a year.

Tourism has recovered from the hit dealt by the global economic crisis and for the past three years has enjoyed strong growth.

Prime Minister John Key, who is also Tourism Minister, expects this summer to be the country’s biggest for the visitor industry.

“It’s a growth sector and there’s a lot more left in the tank,” Key said.

The latest full year figures showed international tourism expenditure contributed $10.3 billion (15.3 per cent) to New Zealand’s total exports.

Key said recent strong growth had come in spite of a strong Kiwi dollar against main source markets and the more favourable exchange rate for visitors would make this country even more attractive.

And the benefits of tourism are spread around regions (like dairy).

The benefits of tourism were widely spread with most spending outside Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Statistics New Zealand figures show the tourism industry directly employed 94,100 fulltime equivalents, or 4.7 per cent of total employment.

The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand agrees with Key’s assessment that another bumper summer season is in prospect.

It has been holding a series of 12 regional tourism summits and chief executive Chris Roberts said the sector was in extremely good heart.

“For many regions, tourism is the bright light when it comes to economic growth.

“We’ve seen good growth in international and domestic visitor spend in the past two years and that looks set to continue,” Roberts said.

This is good news. That’s probably why it doesn’t get much attention in the media.

Nor does it get much attention from the Opposition. Labour’s spokesperson for Tourism is Peeni Henare. He has only a handful of media releases on Labour’s website (four since the election). None of those are on Tourism – he seems more interested in his role as Associate Māori Affairs Spokesperson.

Henare won the Tamaki Makaurau electorate last year, and as a first year MP is ranked near the bottom of Labour’s pecking order.

John Key is the Minister of Tourism, showing a different priority he and National put on one of our biggest markets.

Leave a comment

4 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  3rd August 2015

    The best tourists are those who love NZ so much they buy a home here to come every year. Bur immigration makes it stupidly hard for them to stay more than 3 months. Why on earth? They are self-funding and bring money, skills and contacts here. When you try to get a rational answer you get nothing but ignorant prejudiced drivel.

    Reply
  2. David

     /  3rd August 2015

    Thank god we overruled Helen Kelly and did the Hobbit deal, without a doubt NZs best ever marketing tool. I holiday overseas quite a bit and when you have corrected everyone after they mistake you for an Australian the next sentence is the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings and arnt you lucky to live there and we must come out and visit. Quite remarkable.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  3rd August 2015

      @David

      Yes … Peter Jackson and all his Lord of the Rings and Hobbit Movies put New Zealand on the Worlds Top Destinations List, which gave Tourism in our Country a fantastic platform to woo traveller’s from all around the World 🙂

      Reply
  1. Heat on National over accumulating problems | Your NZ

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s