New Zealand Tourism Statistics

Page last updated: 30 March 2021

Over 996,000 tourists and other visitors travelled to New Zealand in the year ending December 2020.
  • Visitors to New Zealand were down 74.4% when compared with the 3.8 million of the previous year (ending December 2019)
  • This dramatic decrease was due to the coronavirus pandemic and related travel restrictions

How many tourists visited New Zealand in 2019?

Over 3.8 million tourists and other travellers visited New Zealand for the year ending December 2019.1
  • International tourism saw an increase of 0.7% over the previous year.
Image credit: Camper Champ

New Zealand Tourism Statistics 2020

Who visited New Zealand in 2020?

The highest number of visitors came from Australia at over 1.1 million
  • Visitors from Australia were down 22.6% when compared to the previous year
  • The top three countries visitors to NZ came from were Australia, USA and China
  • Visitors from China were down 41% when compared to the previous year

January 2020

In January 2020 tourism saw a 2.9% increase in international visitation when compared with the previous year.
  • In January 2020 approximately 410,778 international visitors travelled to New Zealand.
  • Visitors in January were up 2.9% when compared with the 399,346 of January 2019.

February 2020 and the Impact of Coronavirus

Tourism in February saw a significant decrease in international visitation due to the effects of coronavirus.
  • In February 2020 approximately 372,745 international visitors travelled to New Zealand.
  • International visitors were down 10.8% when compared to 417,934 visitors in 2019.
  • Tourism from Asia was Significantly affected with a 44.6% decrease in visitors arriving from Asian countries.

March 2020 and Further Travel Restrictions

  • On March 19th 2020, New Zealand closed its borders to almost all international travel.
  • On March 25th New Zealand declared a state of emergency and entered level 4 lockdown restrictions, further restricting travel.
  • International arrivals to New Zealand were down 53.6% when compared with March 2019 (with 175,521 in March 2020 and 378,270 in March 2019).

Impact of the Travel Ban on Chinese Visitors

  • In February 2020 visitors arriving from China decreased by 90.2% compared to the previous year (5004 arrivals in February 2020 vs 50,861 visitors in February 2019).
  • The significant drop was the result of a coronavirus-related travel ban implemented by the New Zealand government on 2 February for people travelling from mainland China.
  • January/February is typically the peak travel period for Chinese visitors to NZ.

    New Zealand Inbound Travel Statistics for 2019

    Who visited New Zealand in 2019?

    • The highest number of visitors came from Australia at over 1.5m.
    • Australia continues to be the top tourist source for New Zealand each year.
    Image credit: Camper Champ

    How much did international tourists spend in New Zealand in 2019?

    • International visitors spent over $11.4B in the year ending december 2019.2
    • Australians were the top spenders at over $2.7B alone.
    Image credit: Camper Champ

    How many tourists visit Auckland each Year?

    • Over 2,113,143 tourists and other travellers visited Auckland in the year ending December 2018.3

    How many tourists visit Wellington each year?

    • Over 761,203 tourists and other travellers visited wellington in the year ending December 2018.

    How many tourists visit Queenstown each year?

    • Over 1,306,572 tourists and other travellers visited Queenstown in the year ending December 2018.

    How many tourists visit Christchurch each year?

    • 1,073,699 tourists and other travellers visited wellington in the year ending December 2018.

    New Zealand Outbound Tourism Statistics for 2019

    Where did New Zealanders visit in 2019?

    • New Zealanders made over 3.1M international trips in the year ending December 2019.4
    • Australia was the top destination for New Zealand tourists by a wide margin.
    Image credit: Camper Champ

    References

    1. Stats NZ: International Travel December 2020
    2. MBIE: International Visitor Survey
    3. MBIE: International Visitor Survey
    4. Stats NZ: International Travel December 2019