Independent travellers are looking to regional New Zealand for an "authentic" experience, Marketview's latest tourism report has found.
Marketview managing director Stephen Bridle said the findings are good news for the regions.
"Our figures show confident, independent tourists want unique and authentic experiences centred on specific interests," Bridle said. "Those here for cycling, golf, fishing and even shopping can find something uniquely Kiwi almost anywhere in the country."
Experiences originally orientated towards domestic visitors such as the Otago Rail Trail and wine tours are now gaining international attention, Bridle said. Popularity of "special interest" holidays are also gaining traction in the lower South Island.
"In addition, we're seeing tourists coming to New Zealand from new markets.
"The number of travellers from China, India, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil has grown by over 80 per cent over the past three years, and the collective value of their credit card spending here increased by 87.4 per cent."
Typical tourist-driven locations like Queenstown, Rotorua and Auckland are are still receiving the largest amount of tourists.
However, figures show spending in these locations only grew by 83.2 per cent compared to a jump of 165.5 per cent in the regions in the same three-year period.
"While these new regions are working from a lower base, it's interesting to see this new trend emerge in one of our core export markets," Bridle said.
"Regional economies have a great opportunity to take advantage of this new generation of tourist. They will need to work strategically to ensure they maximise their advantage, but it's a game open to all comers."