Australian tourism spending counters fall in other markets
The extent of the influx of Australian tourists to New Zealand when long haul markets were hit by the global recession and the swine flu epidemic is revealed in Ministry of Tourism figures released today.Spending by international tourists declined overall
The extent of the influx of Australian tourists to New Zealand when long haul markets were hit by the global recession and the swine flu epidemic is revealed in Ministry of Tourism figures released today.
Spending by international tourists declined overall by 2.2 percent to $6 billion in the year to March 2010, according to the ministry. But Australian spending rose by 9.4 percent to $1.8 billion when non-Australian expenditure fell 6.4 percent to $4.2 billion.
The big rise in Australian spending was due to an increase in the number of Australians holidaying in New Zealand as the spend per Australian tourist fell slightly.
"The global recession has been the main driver of weaker performance with the added influence of last year's influenza pandemic, which affected outbound travel from key Asian markets," Bruce Bassett, Ministry of Tourism research manager said.
The increase in Australian spending compensated for the weakness in long haul market.
"It was a very dramatic year for tourism as the economic downturn really affected long haul markets."
Airlines reported increased competition and lower airfares on trans-Tasman markets. Air New Zealand is proposing an alliance with Virgin Blue. It has faced competition from Qantas and its budget airline Jetstar and from Emirates.
Mr Bassett said the data showed the ability of the tourism industry to respond quickly by putting more effort into marketing in Australia, its biggest and strongest market. It had less ability to influence long haul markets.
Mr Bassett said that travellers were more cautious in their spending in the current economic climate and that this drove down their overall expenditure levels.
"The recession means travellers generally tighten their belts and at the same time unfavourable exchange rates make New Zealand a more expensive place to visit.
"The tourism industry has been working hard to counter these influences by stimulating demand through sharpening prices, but the overall result is lower expenditure levels."
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