Backpackers spending plenty

More backpackers are coming to New Zealand, and they are spending more.

The latest Tourism New Zealand international visitor survey figures show backpacker tourist numbers increased 15 per cent, to 190,000, in the 12 months to September.

"Backpackers are an important part of the tourist mix," said Tourism NZ chief executive George Hickton.

Backpackers spent an average $3533 a visit, an increase of 23 per cent, in the past 12 months. The average spending by an international visitor was $2994, said Mr Hickton.

The total estimated amount spent by backpackers in the year was $672 million.

"Backpackers tend to stay much longer in New Zealand than the average international visitor, and their expenditure is spread throughout the country as they get off the beaten track."

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