Industry Research & Statistics

Business Events Research Programme

Programme objectives
The Business Events Research Programme was established in 2009 through a partnership between Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ), the Ministry of Business Innovation & Employment (MBIE) and 10 Convention Bureaux in New Zealand. Since then, 3 additional Convention Bureaux have joined.

The objectives of the programme are to:
* monitor MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) activity in New Zealand
* estimate the contribution multi-day business events make to the New Zealand economy.

The following Convention Bureaux participate in the Business Events Research Programme:
* Rotorua
* Hawke's Bay
* Taupo
* Manawatu
* Wellington
* Nelson
* Christchurch & Canterbury
* Dunedin
* Queenstown
* Hamilton & Waikato (joined July 2011)
* Bay of Plenty (joined July 2011)
* Destination Marlborough (joined July 2012)
* Southland (joined February 2018).

Click here to access the latest data from the Business Events Research Programme, gathered via the Business Events Activity Survey and Business Event Delegate Survey.

Business Events Activity Survey (formerly Convention Activity Survey CAS)

The Business Events Activity Survey monitors and benchmarks the performance of more than 300 professional conferencing and meeting venues in New Zealand.

The Business Events Activity Survey is the 'supply-side' component of the Business Events Research Programme.

Venues that regularly host MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) provide ongoing data on the events they have hosted. Participants include major hotel chains, convention and exhibition centres and boutique venue providers.

MBIE fund the programme in partnership with 14 Convention Bureaux in New Zealand — Auckland, Hamilton and Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Rotorua, Hawke's Bay, Taupo, Manawatu, Wellington, Marlborough, Nelson, Christchurch and Canterbury, Dunedin, Queenstown and Southland.

Latest Reports

Business Events Activity Survey - March 2019

Click here for more information including pivot tables and earlier releases.

Business Events Delegate Survey (formerly Convention Delegate Survey CDS)

The Business Events Delegate Survey collects expenditure and length of stay data from multi-day business event delegates through an online survey.

Established in 2009, the Business Events Delegate Survey (previously called the Convention Delegate Survey) is the ‘demand-side’ component of the Business Events Research Programme. Approximately 2500 local, domestic and international convention and conference delegates are surveyed each year across New Zealand.

In 2012, the survey was redeveloped to address problematic definitional and methodological issues. As a result the survey's spend measures now align with the International Visitor Survey, enabling direct comparisons between the two data sources.

These changes created a statistical discontinuity between the current report and those previously published. Therefore reports published prior to 2013 can't be directly compared to later periods.

Information on the survey method, and how the survey has changed, can be found in the Convention Delegate Survey report for the year ending December 2013.

Latest Reports

Click here to view the Convention Delegate Survey - Year Ended December 2018
Click here for more information and earlier releases.

Quarterly Tourism Report

This quarter MBIE present the national context for tourism in the year ending March 2019 (and for the March 2019 quarter where available).

The key insights of the report include:
International visitor spend grew slightly faster than visitor numbers
Exchange rates were likely to have positively affected spend
Seasonally adjusted quarterly spend remained unchanged from the previous quarter
Guest night growth slows to one per cent

MBIE also present a piece of research about higher-spending visitors in the International Visitor Survey.

This research finds:
Most higher-spending visitors were in New Zealand for a holiday
Higher-spending visitors were more likely to stay in hotel accommodation
Higher-spending visitors tend to be older than other visitors
They stayed for shorter periods than other visitors
Chinese visitors contributed the most to the higher-spending visitor market.

View the Quarterly Tourism Report

New Zealand Tourism Forecasts

2019-2025 international tourism forecasts

Each year The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) produce the international tourism forecasts. This is a report that informs and supports planning and investment decisions in the tourism industry. The forecasts are based on econometric modelling, current trends and best available forecasts of international factors and have been developed with input from members of the tourism industry.

MBIE has updated its tourism forecasts for key tourism markets for the 201-2025 period with the following key messages: 

Key Messages
Moderate growth is forecasted for both international arrivals and spend in New Zealand across the forecast period. Key factors contributing to the overall growth forecast include strong growth in the US in the short-term, and growth in Asian markets, especially China in the longer-term.
Visitor arrivals to New Zealand are expected to grow an average of 4.0 per cent each year, reaching 5.1 million visitors in 2025 from 3.9 million in 2018.
Total international spend is expected to reach $15.0 billion in 2025 (excluding international airfares and education), up 34 per cent from 2018 (when it was $11.2 billion), or 4.3 per cent per year. Spend growth is forecast to grow at slightly higher than the growth of visitor numbers, suggesting that spend per visitor will increase.
Australia is New Zealand's largest visitor market, providing 1.5 million visitors in 2018, and is expected to remain so over the period of the forecasts. We expect this market to have an average growth of 2.5 per cent a year to 2025.
Short term growth will be driven by a range of factors, especially available seat capacity, and rising fuel costs affecting ticket prices and demand.
Australia is currently the largest market by spend, and will remain so, though Chinese spend will reduce the gap by 2025.
The forecasts were developed using MBIE's tourism forecasting model with input and advice provided by the Tourism Forecast Moderation Committee (TFMC), a technical moderation committee of industry participants, including Air New Zealand, the four main international airports, TIA and Tourism New Zealand

The forecast results are available on the MBIE website. Includes an online tool, a report, and an infographic.

Latest Reports

2019-2025 international tourism forecasts
Click here to view previous tourism forecasts

Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTE)

The MRTE's provides an estimated dollar figure for how much international and domestic tourists are spending in each region, which is vital to help inform planning and investment for the tourism industry.   

Tourism spending data for July 2019 released 

The Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs) for July are now available on the MBIE website. The MRTEs aim to provide a regional picture of tourism spending and enable the regional tourism organisations to assess trends and changes in international and domestic spend over time.

View the latest MRTEs

What the data says:
The Wellington Region had the highest growth in tourism spend, up 8.3 per cent to $2.7 billion for the year ended July 2019. This was driven by an increase in international spend; up 11.8 per cent, and a smaller rise of 6.7 per cent for domestic spend.

Other regions that showed strong growth were Waikato (up 5.4 per cent to $2.7 billion) and Taranaki (up 5.1 per cent to $417 million).

The West Coast experienced a decline in total tourism spends, falling 2.7 per cent to $508 million for the year ended July 2019.  This was driven by lower domestic tourism spend in the region, which fell 6.9 per cent over the year.


The MRTEs were designed to estimate regional spending patterns and relativities between regions. The MRTEs are indicative and best suited to analyse trends.

MRTEs should not be used to represent national spend trends.

The International Visitor Survey is better placed to calculate total international spending.

A user guide providing information on how the estimates are calculated and how they should be interpreted is also available.

Read the user guide 

Latest Reports

Click here to view the latest MRTE - July 2019

International Travel Release

The International Travel Report is a monthly report produced by Statistics New Zealand and sponsored by Tourism New Zealand. 

November 2018 was the first release of these monthly statistics since the departure card was removed. International Visitor Arrivals (IVA) is now part of the International Travel release.

International travel covers the number and characteristics of overseas visitors and New Zealand resident travellers (short-term movements) entering or leaving New Zealand.
Visitor arrivals from Asia continue to fall – Media release

Visitor arrivals from Asia fell 1,700 (2.6 percent) in July 2019 compared with the same month last year, Stats NZ said today. 

There were fewer visitors from China, Malaysia, and Hong Kong but more from Singapore, Taiwan, and Indonesia.

“Visitor arrivals from Asia have been falling for six months in a row when compared with the corresponding month last year,” population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

“The fall in arrivals from Asia was more than offset by an increase in visitors from other key markets, especially Australia and the United States.”

The total number of visitor arrivals was 255,600, up 5,100 (2.0 percent) in July 2019 when compared with the same month last year. The largest changes were from:
Australia – up 1,900 
United States – up 1,000 
China – down 1,000.

Total annual arrivals at a peak of 3.9 million

Annual overseas visitor arrivals increased 104,400 (2.8 percent) to 3.9 million for the year ended July 2019 compared with the year ended July 2018.

The largest changes were from:
Australia – up 41,700 
United States – up 29,800 
China – down 28,800.

The number of visitors who spent 15 days or more in New Zealand increased by 57,400 (5.4 percent) in the year ended July 2019 compared with the previous year. Visitors who spent 8 to 14 days in New Zealand increased 48,600 (4.5 percent) over the same period. Visitors who spent 1 to 3 days in New Zealand fell by 21,300 (3.2 percent).

Latest Release
International Travel: July 2019

International Visitor Survey (IVS)

The International Visitor Survey (IVS) measures the expenditure, characteristics and behaviours of international visitors to New Zealand.

International Visitor Survey (IVS) data is presented in the following user-friendly formats:
* Infographic: provides a visual summary of international visitor expenditure and arrival numbers by key markets.
* Key data table: provides a summary of international visitor expenditure by key markets and purpose of visit.
* Pivot tables: provide estimates of international visitor expenditure, and margins of error, by key overseas markets and purpose of visit for every year.

  For the year ended June 2019, total spending of international visitors was $11.2 billion, up from $11.1 billion in the year ended June 2018 (up one per cent, but not statistically significant).
For our main markets, Japan grew eight per cent to $273 million, the USA grew seven per cent to $1.38 billion, while China grew two percent to $1.69 billion and the UK fell six per cent to $979 million. None of these movements were statistically significant.
Growth in spending for holidaymakers was unchanged over the year.

Key facts:
Overall changes are mostly minor and not statistically significant, with the exception of the "other" purpose of visit spending category.
People travelling to New Zealand for other purposes, such as education, conferences and conventions or not stated or unknown, was revised down $104 million in years ended December 2018 and March 2019. This was offset by a rise in holiday/vacation visitors (up $97 million for both periods).
Overall international spending was revised from $11.16 billion to $11.18 billion (up 0.2 per cent) in the year ended December 2018, and from $11.23 billion to $11.25 billion (up 0.2 per cent) in the year ended March 2019.
All of the top six markets were revised by less than one per cent for both December and March. None of these differences were statistically significant

Latest releases
Click here to view the IVS Key data - June 2019
View high-level summaries of current and earlier releases of international visitor information in a variety of formats — infographic, key data table and pivot tables

Additional analysis of the IVS will be released in the next Quarterly Tourism Report, released 6 June 2019.

Business Event Arrivals

CINZ Australia Commentary

June 2019 recorded positive growth with 3,750 AU BE arrivals for the month, the highest recorded in June over the past five years. This result helped achieve a yearend FY19 from Australia of 43,170 delegates – a respectable +3.1% growth.

Kiwis keep commercial accommodation busy through winter – Media release

New Zealanders stayed 2.7 percent more nights in hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks in July 2019 than in July 2018, Stats NZ said today.

Kiwis spent over 1.7 million nights in short-term commercial accommodation in July 2019.

“Domestic guest nights in July months have risen consistently over the last seven years, increasing more than New Zealand’s population over the same period," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

Total guest nights rose 0.8 percent to 2.7 million in the month of July 2019, compared with the previous July.  This was driven by a 2.7 percent rise in domestic guest nights, which offset a 2.4 percent fall in international guest nights.

International guest nights have decreased for the last eight months, when compared with the same month in the previous year.

Wellington region bucks the trend with growth in international guest nights

In July 2019, the Wellington region had the biggest increase in guest nights – propped up by All Blacks and Warriors rugby games in the city. International guest nights were up 28 percent, and domestic guest nights up 4.2 percent, compared with July 2018.

International guest nights in Wellington were also high in July 2017 when the Lions rugby tour boosted activity.

“June is the quietest month of the year for commercial accommodation in New Zealand. Typically, guest nights pick up with the winter ski season and school holidays in July,” Ms McKenzie said.

The Accommodation Survey collects data for guests staying in short-term commercial accommodation such as hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks. Hosted and private accommodation, such as bed and breakfasts and holiday homes, are excluded.

For more information about these statistics:
Visit Accommodation survey: July 2019 


Provisional international travel statistics
Overview of latest international travel trends

For more detailed statistics, see Provisional international travel statistics. This web page provides the latest available weekly and four-weekly information for short-term overseas visitor arrivals and short-term New Zealand resident departures. Data are published for the 10 main source and 10 main destination countries, as well as for regions and totals.

MBIE Data Release Calendar

View upcoming scheduled tourism survey releases.