Is the Recession For Tourism Over?

We have seen some positive statistics released from Tourism New Zealand on Friday in their article “Optimism Up As Record Arrivals Kick-Start Summer” that show arrivals into New Zealand for December 2009 we up nearly 6% over December 2008 with our Australian VFR market contributing considerably towards that and even arrivals from the US market increased by over 11%.

There are mixed comments from the regions as to whether tourism operators have benefited, in this NZ Herald article numbers are still reported as “patchy” in the Auckland Region but a successful summer for tourism in Northland.

Do these numbers indicate we are out of the recession for the tourism industry?  Are arrivals a good indicator anyway?  If arrivals are dominated by low spending Aussies then how much economic benefit is there really when they often stay with friends and family?

So by and large it is still questionable as to whether the recession is over, but it could certainly be worse and these statistics may indicate it’s likely we can look forward to continual improvement in arrivals.  Let hope we can continue to lure back more of the lucrative travellers from the UK, Europe and US markets.

What’s it been like for your tourism business or region this summer?  Have you had to cut back prices to increase your bookings?  What are your expectations for the 2010?

3 Comments

  1. Motella February 7, 2010 at 11:45 pm #

    We have to be pleased that arrival figures are up on December last year.

    It will be interesting to see how this will be reflected in the commercial accommodation monitor for December (results are due out in a few days)

    At first glance the 6% increase looks good, however we have to remember that we are comparing December 2009 to a relatively low recessionary base. December 2008 recorded o’seas guest nights down by 5% (overall guest nights were down by 3% compared to December 2007).

    I believe that we will see a modest increase in relative guest nights from the December 2009 commercial accommodation monitor, however January is the crunch month for most accommodation operators when they should be maximising profits and filling their tanks.

    We fear that for some operators this vital month hasn’t been as intense and consistent as it has been in the past. We also believe that there could be an interesting redistribution of guest night results amongst the accommodation sectors as some Kiwis change their holiday habits.

    With the 6-week lag of publishing the commercial accommodation monitor results, we will need to wait until March to really answer your question.

  2. Michelle Ackers February 9, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Regardless of the published statistics, anecdotally I wonder what different regions and tourism operators have experienced in January?
    Certainly, in Northland it has been a busy summer, and alluded to by Motella, I’d imagine the campgrounds and holiday parks are all happy as Kiwis flock to camping holidays.

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