I am enjoying a working holiday in New Zealand--lots of travel blogging and working on my P\penguin viewing guide. The timing of this visit is planned around The World of Wearable Art. Coincidentally, I am also here for a national election. This is my fourth visit and the third election. I love how candidates have their pictures on their signs. In the USA only insurance and real estate agents use their pictures, so it always takes a second to realize that "what they are selling" is themselves for Mayor or city council.
Kiwis are good at marketing. You have to be when you are living at the end of the world. They have done a marvelous job of promoting the clean, beautiful landscape of North and Island. In today's Otago Daily Times there is an article by Simon Hartley that suggests a surge of tourism is likely in 2014, thanks to the Chinese and to a lesser extent Americans.
After 10 years in "the doldrums", the tourism industry is turning a corner on the global recession. Quoting a Westpac bank economist, Nathan Perry, says while the main markets of Australia, UK, Germany and the USA have held their own, "the Chinese market is charging ahead," with a 27% increase in the first half of 2013 (about 49,000 additional visitors.
Here are some of the numbers:
Direct value to NZ: $2.65 billion; direct and & indirect value of tourism in NZ: $12.4 billion.
GDP March 2012: 8.6%
Direct jobs: 120,000; Indirect: 187,000
Another cheerful bit of news: Christchurch guest night numbers are climbing back, while still down 27% compared to pre-earthquake levels, Cch is growing 25% a year, compared to 10% growth across the nation.