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New Visa data shows increased account holder spending from China, France and South Africa offset drops from the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and South Korea
International Visa account holders spent nearly NZ$30 million more in New Zealand last year than in 2010, helped in part by the successful Rugby World Cup, according to figures published today by the global payments technology company.
Surprisingly the biggest increase in spending didn’t come from the rugby-loving nations, but rather the fast-growing Asian tourism market of China, with travelling Visa account holders spending nearly 57 percent more in New Zealand during 2011 compared to 2010.
Of the NZ$2 billion spent in New Zealand on Visa cards (1.5 percent more than in the previous year), Australia topped the list at $625.1 million (up 5.6 percent from 2010) followed by United Kingdom ($356.8 million, down 8.4 percent), the United States ($219 million, down 5 percent), France ($95 million, up 20.3 percent) and Germany ($85.9 million, down 0.9 percent). China was seventh on the list with $53.6 million spent on Visa cards in New Zealand.
“Hosting a major tournament such as the Rugby World Cup does provide a significant boost in spending with markets such as France and South Africa up 20.3 per cent and 12.1 percent respectively,” says Sean Preston, Visa’s New Zealand Country Manager.
“Card spending by visitors from two of our traditionally top three source markets, the United Kingdom and the United States, decreased but this was offset partially by the jump in spending by visitors from China, who put an extra $19.3 million on their Visa cards last year.”
“The tourism growth out of China is an interesting trend; the potential of this burgeoning outbound market is significant for the New Zealand tourism industry.”
Spending by visitors from other key North Asian markets fell however, with spend by tourists from Japan and South Korea dropping by NZ$4.2 million and NZ$13.9 million, a decline of 7.9 percent and 25.8 percent respectively.
VisaVue data also provides insights in what visitors to New Zealand are spending their money on. Interestingly, visitors spent less on their cards on ‘Accommodation’ and ‘Other retail’ (NZ$222.4 million and NZ$274.6 million, down 1.6 percent and 1.4 percent respectively), but two percent more (NZ$776.8 million) on specialist travel and financial services.
“We were surprised by the drop in accommodation expenditure given the Rugby World Cup took place in this period,” added Mr Preston.
When it comes to Kiwis travelling abroad we spent NZ$108 million more on our Visa cards in 2011 than in 2010, a 5.9 percent increase totalling NZ$1.94 billion.
Apart from our top three destinations of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, the markets where Kiwis used their Visa cards most were: Thailand, Fiji, Singapore, France, Canada, Cook Islands and Italy.
Of the Pacific destinations we spent 12 percent more on our Visa cards in Fiji than in 2010 and nearly 17 percent more in the Cook Islands
To view the full report click here:
 2011 Visa Travel Snapshot using VisaVue travel data January – December 2011