Campervan tourists spend close to $500 million a year here,
with Australians the biggest spenders.
Research for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and
Employment finds that last year almost 64,000 campervans were
International visitors hired 53,710 campervans during 2011,
staying an average of 16.8 days and spending $447.9 million
in this country. New Zealanders hired 10,220 campervans
during the same period, staying an average of 8.9 days and
spent $38.1 million outside their home regions.
On average a domestic campervan hire lasted just under 8
nights and an international hire almost 16 nights.
Australians spend the most - $214 a night - while the Dutch
spend the least - $173 a night. New Zealanders spend $196 a
night on average.
New Zealanders spent $1787 over their entire trip, an average
of $196 a night.
International visitors spent $3836 per adult, excluding
international airfares, the equivalent of $195 a night over
the entire trip.
Just over 42,000 campervan tourists from overseas - 36 per
cent - used Air New Zealand to get here, spending $61
Canterbury is the most popular region for international
visitors, with 70 per cent going to this region.
All New Zealand regions were visited by more than a quarter
of international campervan occupants except Taranaki, which
was visited by only 15 per cent.
New Zealanders spent 75 per cent of their nights in paid
sites while overseas visitors spent 89 per cent in paid
In the year to March international tourism expenditure
totalled $9.6 billion and domestic spending $13.8 billion.
While the motorhome industry is a big earner, there is excess
capacity in the market here following a drop off in demand
from British and European tourists.
There are an estimated 5500 motorhomes in New Zealand, about
1000 too many according to the industry.
Major operator Tourism Holdings has merged its Maui and Britz
fleet with KEA Campers and with United Campervans and Sales
in a $69 million deal that will result in 500 fewer
motorhomes between those brands.
The research excluded last year's Rugby World Cup visitors to
represent a normal year.
- Grant Bradley of the New Zealand Herald