International visitors spending up in South Canterbury
A significant increase in international visitor spending in South Canterbury comes as no surprise to Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean.
The Regional Tourism Estimates for the year ending March 2015 have been released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and show international visitor spending is up over 30 percent to $164 million in South Canterbury.
Mrs Dean, who is also the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Tourism, says the figures reflect changing travel patterns. "Over the past couple of years there has been a significant increase in demand for independent travel to New Zealand from China in particular.
"China's growing middle class, with its high disposable income, is an incredibly important market. They are increasingly going online to research and book their own travel and then share photos and experiences through social media.
"That plays right into the hands of South Canterbury, with more venturing to the stunning sights of Lake Tekapo and Mt Cook. Travelling independently means they can enjoy these sites at their leisure, spending more time and money in the area.
"Tourism attention is often focussed on the big players like Auckland and Queenstown, but with results like this, South Canterbury is proving a star performer for the country's tourism industry."