According to a Radio New Zealand report on Tuesday morning, Tourism is expected to overtake Dairy as this country’s biggest export earner within the year. This is predicted following the March year tourism figures showing annual growth of 7% with just under 3million international visitors with a spend of 7 billion dollars and predictions of over 4 million visitors and a spend of 11 billion dollars by 2021. Chris Roberts of TIA says “the industry is buoyant after a 3rd consecutive year of growth.”

Chris says that the industry here is not a numbers game, it’s about value and delivering a quality visitor experience to go with the scenery, the landscapes, our people and our culture. “Value is being delivered increasingly well” he says.

After 16 years of ‘Pure New Zealand’ marketing and the Middle Earth story, Tourism NZ’s new campaign showcases how NZ’s diverse range of unique experiences are all within easy reach. Andrew Fraser, Tourism NZ’s Marketing Director, says that the Hobbit is an amazing legacy that has provided us with a unique product in the global world of tourism, and what the new campaign does is “showcase all the other iconic locations that are unique to NZ and that tourists can experience when they come down here”.

Visitors, especially from China, are making NZ a unique destination instead of sharing a visit with Australia. They’re spending longer and they are travelling further into the regions. They are enjoying classic ‘NZ Zone’ products like skydiving, walks, cycle rides, etc. Smart operators are paying particular attention to the Chinese market and gearing their businesses towards it, including learning the culture and employing Chinese staff.

By 2025 the Tourism Industry will offer employment to 36,000 new full time equivalent positions in addition to the current 94,000. “This offers an enormous opportunity to young people thinking of a career” says Chris Robertson.