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Economic Insights

Tourism Research

Tourism Research

Research into visitor perceptions of sustainability in New Zealand and the Canterbury region, visitor trends, reports, and an annual Tourism Factbook.

Visitor Trends

Overview of visitor numbers and visitor spending, alongside key figures for commercial accommodation and Airbnb.

Visitor Spend Update for YE Dec 2020

Like the rest of New Zealand, tourism in Christchurch has been heavily impacted by COVID-19.  Total visitor spending in Christchurch was 13% or $99.6m lower in 2020 than 2019, with international visitor spending down 41% and domestic visitor spending down 1% from the previous year.  The reduction in visitor spending due to COVID-19 peaked in April at 82% below that of April 2019.  

However, as the year progressed, Christchurch proved itself to be a popular domestic visitor destination, thanks largely to a new, vibrant central city, a strong major events portfolio and unprecedented domestic engagement with the regional tourism marketing campaign, ExploreCHC.  Aside from dips in August and November, month-on-month visitor spend grew for the rest of 2020.   

This was largely driven by a strong upswing in domestic visitor spending that occurred in the second half of 2020, with domestic tourism spend up 24% or $55.59m higher than that of July-December in 2019.  This was strongest in October, with domestic visitor spending 35% higher than in October 2019 (Marketview).  

Electronic transaction data for the year ended November 2020 shows total visitor spending in the Christchurch RTO area to have fallen by -10% from the same period the year before.  This compares with reductions of -26% for Auckland, -15% for Dunedin, -19% for Wellington, and -25% for Queenstown.  The average change in visitor spending for New Zealand was -14% (MBIE).

Visitor Perceptions of Sustainability

Visitor perceptions of sustainability in New Zealand and the Canterbury region.

Airbnb Final Report

The University of Canterbury and ChristchurchNZ jointly investigated the Canterbury Airbnb sector. ChristchurchNZ undertook a quantitative analysis of Airbnb and formal accommodation sector while the University of Canterbury interviewed a range of stakeholders to understand the perceptions of the Airbnb sector and its impact on the formal accommodation sector.

Tourism Factbook 2020

The Tourism Factbook has been designed to give a sleek overview of tourism movements and spending at different levels of the economy, giving a comparison point for city and region, with highlight summaries of the strengths of each. 

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