Tourists’ travel sees pleasure trips top business
Almost ten per cent more tourists are coming to the country to visit friends and family, while fewer are coming for business conferences.
A total of 851,372 tourists said visiting friends and relatives was their travel purpose, an increase of 9.6% in the past year.
Most people came for holidays and vacations, a figure which totalled 1,221,440.
A range of factors from cheaper flights to exchange rates could be the reason for this change says Bernie Hanratty statistics analyst from Stats New Zealand.
“There is no one definitive, easy answer to this increase,” he says.
All visitors staying up to 12 months select a reason for their trip to New Zealand and Stats NZ likes them to choose the option that best summarises the purpose behind their trip.
“We ask them to select their main reason only.”
There has been a spike in visitors from Oceania and Asia, up 5.4% and 4.6% respectively, and Stats NZ says they contribute to visitors coming to New Zealand on holiday.
“We do know from research by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that Australians are a key driver in the visiting friends and relatives market.
“They often travel for short trips, visit or stay with friends and family and in turn, spend less compared to traditional and emerging markets,” says Mr Hanratty.
There were only two drops in the reasons for people visiting New Zealand.
The biggest one was people traveling to the country for business related conferences and conventions, which was down 14%.
Education and medical reasons dropped 4.2% in the last year, although the amount of international students studying here did show a slight rise.