Tourism NZ modelling predicts 118 percent jump in domestic tourism in January, 2021

Tourism NZ has released scenario modelling of the recovery of Aotearoa's tourism industry which shows the number of Kiwis travelling around the country in January may see a year-on-year jump of 118 percent.

The modelling also shows if trans-Tasman borders were to open by January 2021 - a timeframe the organisation described as a "pragmatic estimate" - this could see an extra $1 billion into the New Zealand economy by September next year.

The latest MBIE domestic visitor spend data from across New Zealand shows that Kiwis are indeed supporting the nation's economic recovery with domestic tourism. 

"Although August domestic visitor spend remained flat compared with last year, given Aucklanders were unable to travel for a large part of the month it actually is an incredibly encouraging result," Tourism NZ's chief executive Stephen England-Hall said. 

"Domestic visitation in the July school holiday period grew across all regions, in some cases a whopping 20 to 50 percent compared to the previous year."

Pre-COVID-19, domestic tourism accounted for 60 percent of the industry's $40.9 billion contribution to the New Zealand economy. 

But there is room for that number to grow as New Zealanders spent $9 billion on overseas travel last year - something that's largely not currently possible.

"We're working hard to encourage domestic tourism and capturing this spend will be critical to the sector's recovery," England-Hall said. 

"Every time someone heads into a new region, they don't just visit tourist attractions, they shop at local retailers, book hotel rooms, eat at restaurants supporting employment and community growth."