Resort second only to Auckland in visitor spend

Visitors to Queenstown are spending more than ever, second only to Auckland.

Total spending in the resort for the year to the end of March hit $1.37billion, up from $1.253billion in 2013.

International visitors contributed over $1billion and domestic visitors $359million.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) data shows Queenstown businesses account for 16% of all international spending, with that amount growing 10.4% on the previous year.

Auckland continues to dominate tourist spending, attracting 38% of international ($2.69billion) and 21% of domestic spending ($2.09billion) in the year to March31.

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said the figures showed 74% of all tourist expenditure in the resort was from overseas visitors, reinforcing their importance.

''I believe this continuing growth is testament to our businesses and community being very focused on providing world-class accommodation, activities, food and hospitality, with visitor enjoyment and safety top of mind.''

More Australians visit Queenstown than those from any other country, growing 1.3% and accounting for 38% of all international visitor spending in the resort.

Chinese tourists made up the second-largest market, growing 44% and accounting for 15% of total expenditure, while spending from US visitors grew 54% and accounted for 10% of expenditure.

The report said international tourists spent $7.2billion in New Zealand, excluding expenditure on education and airfares, up $600million on a year earlier.

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