Given the growing importance of tourism to the NZ economy, there is a risk that the latest earthquake could adversely impact visitor arrivals. However, looking at the 2010/11 earthquakes, the long-term impact appears to be limited (see graph from ASB Bank). It is estimated that the impact on visitor arrivals is likely to be small in comparison to the previous quakes, though Wellington through to North Canterbury are likely to see a reduction in visitors. Spare a thought for Kaikoura, the whale-watching capital, which has experienced a lot of damage and currently has no access routes.
Unlike other sectors which produce material goods, tourism encompasses a range of industries and is based on characteristics of the consumer, rather than what is being produced by the producer. Feeder industries into the tourism sector include:
Accommodation – Transport – Retail Trade – Food and Beverages – Car Hire – Tourist Sites
Tourism spending – year ended March 2016
- Domestic = $20,213m ($15,361m spent by households $4,852m spent by business and government)
- International = $14,486m ($2,747m from international students)
Total = $34,699m
One significant point from the data was that tourism revenue surpassed export revenue from dairy products.
Contribution of Tourism to Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
- Direct contribution – $12,873m = 5.6 % of GDP.
- Indirect Contribution (supplying of goods and services to tourism sector) – $9,815m = 4.3% of GDP
- Total contribution = $12,873m + $9,815m = $22,688m = 10% of GDP
Employment – the tourism sector is quite labour intensive, with:
- People employed 188,136 = 7.5 % of total employment.
- People indirectly employed = 144,186 = 5.7% of total employment.
- Total 332,322 = 13.2 % of total employment
Source: Parliamentary Library – Monthly Economic Review November 2016