According to figures released Oct. 21 from Visa New Zealand, the country’s overseas visitors spent NZ$168 million in the month of September — a 48 percent increase compared to the previous year.
The countries making the largest contribution to that increase include Australia ($58.2m), United Kingdom ($28.4m), United States ($14.0m), France ($12.6m), Canada ($5.3m), Japan ($4.8m), South Africa ($4.2m), Germany ($4.0m) and the Republic of Ireland ($3.6m).
Visitors are choosing to spend their money on entertainment, hospitality, auto rental and fuel; these merchants have seen a significant increase in international spend when compared with September 2010.
"Countries like Australia, that already contribute significantly to our international card spend, have not seen as much of an increase (29 percent) compared with countries such as Ireland (525 percent), France (230 percent) and South Africa (126 percent),” said Sean Preston, country manager at Visa New Zealand, who adds that the increases might be due to the growing popularity in rugby.
"Auto rental and oil spend has increased by more than 70 percent when compared with last year,” Preston said. “This directly relates to the number of long term visitors who have chosen to travel around the country in cars and campervans making the most of their time in New Zealand."
The increases have also been reflected on the grocery markets. "It is also interesting to note that although hospitality spend has increased significantly (52 percent), supermarket spend has also increased by 34 percent, indicating that visitors are also choosing to self-cater - either in rented homes or campervans," Preston said.