Domestic tourism electronic card transaction spend was up 25 per cent to $10.6 billion in the year ended April 2021, compared with the previous year.
The surge in domestic tourism also meant spending on cards was up 17 per cent on the year ending April 2019 - before the pandemic and reflecting the $7b to $9b that Kiwis are no longer spending a year on overseas trips.
However, spending by overseas card holders plunged in the year-ended April 2021, to $1.29b, a massive 73 per cent down on 2020 and 74 per cent down on 2019 because of closed borders.
The figures from the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment show April spending last year by overseas visitors free-fell to just $78m because of the level 3 and 4 lockdowns. In some regions it fell by more than 1000 per cent and Gisborne recorded no overseas spending at all.
All regions saw growth in domestic card spend in the year-ended April 2021.
Auckland with $1.91b was the only region that didn't show an increase in domestic spend when compared to the year-ended April 2019.
The West Coast saw the largest increase in domestic spend in the year-ended April this year, up 44 per cent to $150 million.
This was followed by Tasman and Otago (up 37 per cent to $134m and $1.2b respectively).
These three regions with the highest increase in domestic spend, both at the annual and monthly level also saw some of the largest falls in international spending given the high reliance on the international tourism market pre-Covid-19.
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The figures relate only represent part of total tourism spend – card spending only.
The data is provided by Marketview, which uses a base of card spending from the Paymark network (approximately 70 per cent of total card spend) to estimate the total.
This estimated spend is then filtered for tourism spend by visitors in New Zealand and domestic tourism spend is classified as spend that is more than 40km outside their usual place of residence.
The figures out today support those crunched by Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) last week which found Kiwis on domestic holidays is up $1.1b to $8.37b in the nine months to March this year.
While the figure goes nowhere near offsetting the estimated $12.9b a year lost because of closed borders in that time, TNZ says the domestic spend is encouraging and believes the momentum will continue.
Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism NZ domestic manager, said its research had shown 64 per cent of Kiwis intend taking a domestic holiday during the next 12 months.
He said TNZ's "Try something new New Zealand" had encouraged them to travel to new spots and try new activities.