Auckland Tourism Up - issued by Auckland City Council
Tourism contributes over 3% in growth to GDP in New Zealand, with visitor spending rated at $9.1 billion last year.
Of this $4.3 billion was spent by international visitors, representing 15.8% of foreign exchange earnings - more than
any other single export category.
Auckland, seen as the gateway to the rest of New Zealand, (73% of overseas visitors arrive through Auckland) had just
over a million visitors last year and has experienced a growth of just under 8% in visitor nights over the last quarter
compared to the same quarter last year.
While hotel occupancy levels were lower over the same period, this is due to the huge increase in the number of
'accommodations' being built, which is spreading the occupancy. Hotel rooms have grown from 4200 in September 1996 to an
expected 7400 by May 2000, an increase of 76% in less than four years.
Tourism Auckland, which is largely funded by Auckland City Council ($1.2 million) and its Visitor Information Centres,
has promoted Auckland over the past 10 years as a tourist destination in its own right.
"What we need to do now is increase the number of nights that visitors stay in Auckland so they will contribute more to
the city's economy," says Tourism Auckland's chief executive, Lance Bickford.
According to Professor Stephen Page of Massey University's Centre for Tourism Research, Auckland has enormous potential
and visitors should be enticed by the diversity of attractions the region has to offer.