Tourism to overtake dairy export as New Zealands top foreignexchange earner

first_imgNew Zealand, the nation that was the first to commercialise bungee jumping, is counting on visitors to sustain growth after dairy exports slumped. Tourism might contribute to around half of New Zealand’s economic expansion, said Shamubeel Eaqub, an independent economist in Auckland.“We’re starting to see a broad-based recovery in tourism and serious dollars coming into the New Zealand economy. If we didn’t have that, then economic growth would be a lot lower,” said Eaqub.With the local dollar hovering just above a six-year low, travellers are flocking. Visitor spending jumped 38% to a record NZ$9.4 billion ($6.3 billion) in the year through September, the government reported.With airlines opening new routes from the U.S. and Asia and the visitor influx outpacing government forecasts, tourism is starting to rival dairy as the nation’s biggest foreign-exchange earner. According to a report released in October, New Zealand generated revenue of NZ$11.8 billion from international tourists and foreign students in the 12 months ending March 31, nearing the NZ$14.2 billion the country received for its dairy exports.Travellers from China spent NZ$1.55 billion in the 12 months ending September 30, a 78% increase from a year earlier, as per government data. Chinese visitor numbers are predicted to reach 600,000 by 2021, more than double the 265,000 in 2014.last_img

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