Auckland welcomed 239,000 passengers between June 2018 and 2019, up 13% from the previous 12 months (Image: Tourism New Zealand)
Cruise ship spending in New Zealand rose 28% to hit NZ$570 million between June 2018 and June 2019, according to data agency Stats NZ.
The Cruise Ship Traveller Expenditure report found that cruise visitors spent 25% more in 2019 than in 2018, with the total expenditures being recorded as a record NZ$370.3 million. This marks an 84% rise from 2015.
Meanwhile, cruise line expenditures related to port services such as fuel bunkering totalled almost NZ$146 million, an increase of 39% from the previous year.
Auckland, Tauranga and Dunedin recorded the largest total spend by port. In the year ended June 2019, spending in Auckland reached almost NZ$193 million (up 32%), while Tauranga hit NZ$90.3 million (up 35%) and Dunedin surpassed NZ$60 million (up 26%).
“Cruise ship spending has risen every year since 2015, but the annual increase in the latest 12 months is the biggest in both dollar and percentage terms,” said Gary Dunnet, senior manager for national accounts at Stats NZ.
Stats NZ has attributed the surge in cruise spending to the growth in the number of available cruise itineraries, port calls and passengers in New Zealand.
According to New Zealand Cruise Association, nearly 322,000 cruise passengers visited ports across New Zealand in the 12 months between June 2018 and 2019. This was a 24% increase from the previous year. Australian citizens accounted for 49% of this traffic (up from 44% in 2018), which 20% of passengers came from the US, 11% from New Zealand and 6% from the UK.
In addition, there were 176 cruises and 981 port calls over the 12 months – a rise of 148 and 707 respectively from the previous year.
“The increase in passengers was driven by citizens from Australia (up 43,000) and the US (up 12,000),” said Brooke Theyers, senior manager for population insights at Stats NZ. “New Zealand citizens increased to 35,000, a 4% increase.”
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