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Tourists flex their credit cards more

South Koreans lead the way.

Jonathan Underhill
Wed, 09 Mar 2016

Tourists are spending more on their credit cards in New Zealand, led by visitors from Australia and Britain.

Data on transactions through Paymark doesn't reveal whether the spending is actually by tourists or local residents still using overseas cards but the pattern of spending at tourist destinations suggests it is visitors to the country.

Total spending on overseas-issued credit cards rose 14.6% to $278.8 million in February from the same month last year, based on Paymark transactions.

Spending rose 27% in Otago, and almost 30% in Southland, which the company said reflected activity in Queenstown and Milford Sound.

Australians were the biggest spenders, at $64.8 million, a 19% rise compared to February 2015. Spending on UK-issued credit cards rose 7.5% to $41.6 million and spending on American cards escalated 10% to about $40 million.

The biggest gain was on South Korean cards, which jumped 31% to $5.39 million, while spending on Japanese cards rose 25% to $4.3 million. Spending on Chinese cards rose 24% to $36.8 million.

Cards issued in 161 countries were used in New Zealand last month, Paymark says.

ANZ, ASB, BNZ and Westpac own Paymark and last month investment bank Cameron Partners said it had been hired to conduct a strategic review after the owners received interest in their shares.

The review is expected to take several months, but no decision on whether to sell has been made.



Jonathan Underhill
Wed, 09 Mar 2016
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Tourists flex their credit cards more