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A high dollar and over-priced tourist attractions, food and accommodation threatens repeat business from visitors.
Tourism New Zealand's latest visitor experience monitor, which surveyed 4500 international tourists visiting friends and family in the past year, showsmost remain highly satisfied with the New Zealand experience.
But the number of people "very likely" to recommend the country to others has dropped by 5% over the last four years.
Ninety six percent of tourists say they are still "likely" to recommend New Zealand – unchanged since the last survey.
Tourism NZ ceo Kevin Bowler admits there is no room for complacency given a number of challenges facing the industry.
According to Statistics NZ, 2.63 million people visited up to August, an increase of 133,000 on the previous year.
On average, visitors from the USA, Britain and Germany are most satisfied with their holiday experience, while Korean travellers are the least. Japanese travellers are significantly more satisfied this past year, than in the revious 12 months.
“Visitor satisfaction with the price of activities, food and beverage and accommodation has decreased,” Mr Bowler says.
The cost of activities has become a key visitor consideration and they are now participating in 14% fewer Kiwi adventures than they were two years ago.
New Zealand’s natural environment continues to receive the highest overall satisfaction rating of 9 out of 10, consistent with last year's results.
Mr Bowler says experiencing natural scenery remains a favourite for travellers, with activities such as bush walks, mountain climbing and photography resulting in the highest levels of satisfaction.
Digital media is playing an increasingly more important role in New Zealand tourism and is one area to focus on in the future. He says an increasing number of visitors are taking to social media to share their experiences both while travelling and after they return home.
“This illustrates the growing importance of digital technology within the travel industry. Tourism New Zealand has placed a large focus on developing our digital presence, undertaking extensive work on our consumer site newzealand.com to better meet visitors' needs online.”