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Chinese visitors strongly boost New Zealand's tourism

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-13 10:07

WELLINGTON - Chinese visitor spending will add NZ$4.3 billion ($2.92 billion) annually to New Zealand's economy by 2023, with China set to become New Zealand's largest tourist market by spend, said Tourism Minister Paula Bennett on Friday.

The figures confirm the importance of China to New Zealand's tourism industry, as the country's tourism sector is forecast to grow significantly, with an estimation of 4.9 million international visitors annually by 2023, who are projected to spend NZ$15.3 billion a year, said Bennett.

Figures from the New Zealand Tourism Forecasts 2017-2023, which was released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), showed the real value that tourism will continue to have to New Zealand's economy.

The amount visitors spend per day is expected to grow by 9 percent over the forecast period. For New Zealand's second largest market, China, this figure is 17 percent.

"The figures released today (Friday) confirm that New Zealand's tourism sector is in good shape. Visitor arrivals are projected to reach 4.9 million annually by 2023 - up 39 percent from the 3.5 million visitors who came here in 2016," Bennett said.

She said the government is focused on helping the tourism sector attract visitors who bring value to communities -- those who spend more, stay longer and explore regions around New Zealand, as well as the main tourist spots.

Overall, international visitor spending is forecast to exceed NZ$15 billion annually by 2023, up 52 percent from annual visitor spending of NZ$10 billion in 2016. "This equates to a solid growth rate of over 6 percent per annum, which is great news for our regional economies," Bennett said.

"Tourism is already our biggest export earner, and adds immense value to our country by directly employing over 180,000 people," she said.

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