AS much as New Zealand is indisputably popular among the Chinese, the forecast for tourist spending in the next six years was slashed, indicating Chinese tourism growth in New Zealand may not thrive as initially expected.
A report by Bloomberg has revealed while spending by Chinese tourists will rise to NZD3.73 billion (US$2.5 billion) by 2022 from NZD1.65 billion (US$1.14 billion) last year, the figure was 30 percent less than the NZD5.32 billion (US$3.67 billion) expected in last year’s projections.
The report added Australia will remain the biggest source of tourist dollars until 2021, despite officials forecasting last year that China would come out top in 2017.
According to a report by the Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry, the slowdown in Chinese growth can be attributed to “significant geopolitical risk around the China market”.
On top of that, the uncertainty around China “adds some risk to both China’s and the national forecast numbers”.
Tourism in New Zealand has seen a surge with numbers having climbed 12 percent in 2016 to a record-breaking 3.5 million and the industry recording a significant US$24 billion in revenues.
However, the boom is proving to be challenging for New Zealand, especially with the lack of hotel rooms in tourist-heavy areas like Auckland.
According to a separate Bloomberg report, government research pointed to a likely shortage of over 4,500 hotel rooms by 2025, even after taking into account the construction of about 5,200 new rooms by then.
Adventure tourism operator Ngai Tahu Tourism chief executive officer Quinton Hall told Bloomberg: “We’ve got a natural cap on our peak period right now because we just don’t have the accommodation in New Zealand. Even if they wanted to come, they couldn’t find anywhere to sleep.”