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Sustainability and Resilience Institute New Zealand

The coronavirus survival challenge for NZ tourism: affordability and sustainability

Originality published by Stuff

By Sabrina Seeler, Nord University and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology

OPINION: With no international flights arriving for the foreseeable future, there is little doubt that, immediately post-Covid-19, the New Zealand tourism industry will rely entirely on domestic travel.

Without underplaying the impact the pandemic will have on discretionary spending, however, there may be a silver lining to the crisis.

New Zealand is in the fortunate position of having an already strong domestic tourism sector. Domestic tourists spent NZ$23.7 billion annually (or NZ$65 million a day) pre-Covid-19, compared to a total spend of NZ$12.7 billion (or NZ$47 million a day) by international visitors. Research pre-Covid-19 showed 65% of New Zealanders wanted to explore more of their country, a figure expected to increase.

True, New Zealanders generally don’t have the deep pockets international tourists have. Their higher overall spend is a reflection of their numbers, not their bank balances. But with the big ticket tourist attractions now missing the bigger spenders, the market will rule.

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