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

MBIE's latest Quarterly Tourism Report is available on the MBIE website.

This report provides commentary on the body of tourism statistics in New Zealand, for the year ending June 2019.

The main tourism measures show that:

Growth in tourism spend has been shared across regions.
The slowdown in arrivals from China has been off-set by strong growth in arrivals from the United States and Australia.
New Zealand is becoming increasing popular with older visitors.

The main tourism measures show that growth in tourism spend has been shared across regions, and that the slowdown in arrivals from China has been off-set by strong growth in arrivals from the United States and Australia.

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 September 2019 released 

The Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs) for September are now available on the MBIE website.

View the latest MRTEs

What the data says:
The Wellington Region had the highest growth in tourism spend, up seven per cent for the year ended September 2019. The growth was driven by an increase in international spend, up 12 per cent, and a smaller rise of five per cent for domestic spend.  

The other region which showed strong growth was Taranaki, up five per cent for the year ended September 2019. Similar to the Wellington Region, the growth was driven by an increase in international spend, up 13 per cent, and a smaller rise of three per cent for domestic spend.

Only West Coast and Marlborough experienced a decline in total tourism spend for the year ended September 2019. For both regions the decline was driven by lower domestic tourism spend, which fell eight per cent over the year in West Coast and down two per cent in Marlborough.

About MRTEs

*  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.
*  The MRTEs were designed to estimate regional spending patterns and relativities between regions. MRTEs are indicative and best suited to analyse trends and should not be used to represent national spend trends.
*  The International Visitor Survey is better placed to calculate total international spending.

Read the user guide 


International Travel Release

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

Queenstown visitor numbers snowball – Media release

The number of overseas visitors arriving at Queenstown airport increased by 7,100 (22 percent) in August 2019, compared with the same month last year, to reach 39,200, Stats NZ said.

This was the largest monthly gain on record for overseas visitor arrivals in Queenstown.

“This strong growth followed an increase in Qantas seasonal flights between Queenstown and Melbourne from late June to August 2019,” population indicators manager Tehseen Islam said.

“It also coincided with the annual Winter Games NZ, which were held in Queenstown from late August to early September.”

About four in five overseas visitors arriving at Queenstown airport were from Australia.

Overseas visitors arriving at Christchurch and Wellington airports in August 2019 increased by 1,300 and 900 respectively, compared with the same month last year. Overseas visitor arrivals at Auckland airport fell by 4,100.

The total number of overseas visitor arrivals to New Zealand was 251,100 in August 2019, up by 4,400 from the same month last year.

There were solid gains from the Australian market, tempered by falls in visitor numbers from Malaysia and China. The largest changes were from:
Australia – up 5,800 
Taiwan – up 1,800 
Malaysia – down 2,300 
China – down 2,200.

AirAsia suspended its flights from Kuala Lumpur (in Malaysia) via Coolangatta (on Australia’s Gold Coast) to Auckland early this year, which may have impacted visitor arrivals from Malaysia.

Annual visitor arrivals increased by 96,100 (2.5 percent) to 3.9 million for the year ended August 2019, compared with the year ended August 2018.

“This is the slowest annual growth in an August year since 2013, down from a peak of 11 percent in the year ended August 2016,” Mr Islam said.

The largest increase in annual visitor arrivals was seen at Auckland airport (up by 47,200) followed by Queenstown airport (up by 33,300).

The overseas airport of a passenger’s flight is the last airport where they boarded an aircraft before arriving in New Zealand, though they may have started their return trip from another airport.

For more information about these statistics:
Visit International travel: August 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
In a market with increased competition, Australia BE arrivals continue to hold with 3,289 arrivals, up 1.8% for the month of July 2019. This result assisted with year end 43,527 arrivals, up a modest 2.8% growth. 

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.

Guest nights star in Mackenzie district – Media release

Relative to the size of its resident population, Mackenzie district had the most guests staying in hotels, motels, backpackers, and holiday parks per resident of any area in New Zealand in the September 2019 year, Stats NZ said today.

The sparsely populated Mackenzie district includes the tourist hotspots of Aoraki/Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo, lying approximately halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown.

“With 891,000 guest nights in the September 2019 year, Mackenzie district had 173 guest nights for  each of the estimated 5,140 residents,” accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said.

“This is even higher than other visitor hot spots, such as Queenstown-Lakes district with 111 guest nights per local a year, and Rotorua district with 31 guest nights per resident.”
“Mackenzie district guest nights grew the second-fastest of any territorial authority in New Zealand over the last 22 years. Annual guest nights in the September 2019 year were three-and-a-half times the number in the year ended June 1997,” Ms McKenzie said.

Over the 22 years that the accommodation survey has been running, Hauraki district in Waikato region grew fastest, to 131,000 guest nights, over four times the number in the June 1997 year.

Between 1996 and 2019, New Zealand’s population grew from 3.7 million to nearly 5 million; at the same time the number of visitor arrivals to New Zealand more than doubled, from 1.5 million to 3.9 million.

“The growth in Kiwis taking holidays has not only been driven by population growth, but an extra week’s annual leave starting in 2007 helped boost the number of domestic guest nights over the life of the survey. Tourist attractions like the 2011 Rugby World Cup and the interest in the scenery shown in The Lord of the Rings movies have contributed to more international guest nights,” Ms McKenzie said.

More domestic and international guests drove two milestones over the life of the accommodation survey. When the survey began in the year ended June 1997, almost 22 million guest nights were spent in short-term commercial accommodation. The number of guest nights reached 30 million in the year ended July 2004, then grew to reach 40 million in the September 2018 year.

The increase in nights spent in short-term commercial accommodation has been supported by a 15 percent increase in accommodation establishments during the length of the survey, with just over 3,000 providers surveyed in the September 2019 year.

The greatest growth in accommodation establishments over the same period was in motels and backpackers, while hotels had the highest occupancy rate of all the short-term commercial accommodation providers.
The annual occupancy rate for hotels has eased by about 1.5 percentage points since the March 2018 year, even though guest nights have been generally rising. This is due to new and refurbished hotels in Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. These have brought national capacity back to early 2011 levels, before the Canterbury earthquakes removed a lot of hotel stock from Christchurch city.

Accommodation survey ends

This is the final release of accommodation survey information by Stats NZ with results for the September 2019 month. This decision was first announced in June 2019. See Four surveys to end for more information.

“We would like to thank hotel, motel, backpacker, and holiday park operators for the time and effort they put into completing the survey for many years, for the benefit of the tourism sector and all New Zealanders,” Ms McKenzie said.

We continue to support the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in procuring a new provider to produce accommodation industry insights. For updates on the procurement process subscribe to MBIE’s tourism sector alerts.

In the meantime, Stats NZ and MBIE will continue to provide a range of statistics that inform the accommodation and tourism industries. These include:
International Visitor Survey (IVS) – quarterly report on spending by overseas visitors to New Zealand. 
Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs), estimate of regional monthly expenditure on tourism from both international and domestic consumers. 
Retail trade survey – accommodation sales series which provides quarterly data on the accommodation sector’s actual and seasonally-adjusted sales volumes.   
New Zealand business demography statistics – provides an annual snapshot of the characteristics of businesses, including the numbers of accommodation and food services businesses and how many people they employ. 
Labour market statistics – quarterly employment survey provides data on full time employees in the accommodation and food services sector. 
Linked employer-employee data – provides more detailed accommodation employment data based on tax records. 
International travel statistics – provides monthly estimates of arrivals and departures of overseas visitors and New Zealand residents.

For more information about these statistics:
Visit Accommodation survey: September 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.