New Zealand A Winter Hotspot For International Tourists

August 21, 2018 | Auckland | By Barkha Patel

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Mastercard data about inbound tourist travel trends has revealed that New Zealand is most popular with Australia, China and USA tourists. 40% of our visitors are our closest neighbors in Australia, followed by China (11%) and the USA (8%).

Over the winter months New Zealand experiences an increasing number of international and domestic travelers visiting its cities, with winter hotspots Queenstown having the greatest share of hotel accommodation domestic spending growth in 2017, with peaks between April and August.

“Across the world, international travel is growing at an incredible rate. In New Zealand, tourism is one of our most important industries, so it is important to understand where tourists are coming from and what they are doing while visiting so local Kiwi businesses can make the most of these tourists and offer them a fantastic experience,” says Ruth Riviere, Mastercard Country Manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Mastercard Consumer Purchasing Priorities research found the activities international tourists are enjoying are entertainment (95%), sightseeing (33%) and shopping (19%).

“We are seeing a shift in overall spending patterns with people valuing experiences over things, which is driving an increase in tourism and holidays. Travellers are planning their vacations around bucket list activities and for the cultural experience,” says Ruth Riviere.

The Mastercard consumer survey found credit cards are the preferred mode of payment by international travellers (61%), because it feels safer than cash (47%) and is more convenient (29%). Typically, international travellers use payment cards to pay for hotels (31%), meals (21%) and tourist attractions (17%).

“We are also seeing a steady growth in online shopping both domestically and internationally. Things like accommodation bookings, flights, tickets and experiences can be booked online – providing different options for travellers to either book ahead of their trip or make last-minute plans once they are in the country.”

Mastercard also offers the Cash Passport which allows international travellers to load up to nine currencies before going overseas and lock in a favourable exchange rate ahead of travel. The Cash Passports can be easily used at any card terminal around the world in a safe and convenient manner.

“Mastercard is focused on helping cardholders travel the world with peace of mind through seamless planning, convenient payment options and connectivity at their destination and worry-free acceptance at millions of locations in New Zealand and around the globe,” says Riviere.


About the research
Mastercard 2018 SpendingPulse and Sector Insights report measures spending trends of tourists travelling to and from New Zealand in 2017.

The Mastercard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities is a biannual survey of 9,141 people, conducted between September and October 2017 across 19 markets, representative sample based on residents between 18-64 years old owning a bank account with quotas placed on age, gender and ethnicity as per banked population.

The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent Mastercard’s financial performance.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard Communications Contact
Renee Ji
Acumen Republic, for Mastercard
D +64 9 354 0555

M +64 21 294 2104

Barkha Patel, Vice President, Communications, International Markets (IMK), Mastercard