New Zealand, which consists of two main islands – the North and South Island – and a number of smaller islands, is known for its natural beauty, culture, rugby and ecotourism. The country’s marketing slogan, ‘100% Pure New Zealand’, has been in use for the last 10 years. In the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015, the ‘Pure New Zealand’ campaign promotes responsible tourism and refers to the Maori concept of kaitiakitanga, which means guardianship, care or protection in relation to the environment. There are a number of tourism businesses focusing on nature and green initiatives to protect the natural environment in New Zealand. Over 10% of New Zealand has been awarded World Heritage status by the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO). The three main sites are: Tongariro National Park; Te Wahipounamu, which contains four national parks; and the Sub-Antarctic Islands.
The number of arrivals coming to New Zealand has been climbing steadily since 2001, apart from in 2008 and 2009 when there was zero growth due to the global financial crisis and recession. In 2010, 2.51mn arrivals are forecast to visit the country, then growing by an average of 3.5% year-on-year (y-o-y) to reach 2.87mn in 2014. Given the fact that New Zealand is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, the most popular way to travel to the country is by air. In 2010, 2.48mn of the forecast arrivals are expected to travel by air, compared to just 26,000 arriving by sea.
Tourism is a relatively large contributor to New Zealand’s GDP compared to other countries (eg: tourism in the UK contributed about 2% to the GDP in 2009). After peaking at 9.8% in 2008 and falling to 7.5% in 2009, tourism expenditure’s contribution to GDP will grow steadily, but not as high as 9.8%, throughout our forecast period to 2014.
The main regional source market for Nez Zealand tourism is the Asia Pacific region. In 2009, 1.63mn tourists from the region are estimated to have visited New Zealand and this is forecast to grow to 1.83mn by the end of the forecast period. The number of New Zealanders travelling abroad is also forecast to rise through to 2014. Unsurprisingly, given its proximity, the majority of residents travel to the Asia Pacific region, mainly Australia and Fiji. In second and third place are Europe and North America, with the UK and US the major destinations in those regions.
Although the number of hotel rooms in New Zealand is forecast to increase by approximately 10,000 during our forecast period, there has not been a great deal of new hotel construction in the past year. For Q310 there are no new hotel opens planned.