After a long dry spell of few to no international visitors, mobile phone and credit card data shows that internationals are starting to appear again in Rotorua.
The staged border opening has resulted in a gradual increase of internationals showing up in Rotorua and contributing to the regional economy but we can expect this to rapidly increase in coming months with borders becoming open.
Mobile phone data
The chart below shows that the last few months has seen the percentage of international visitors increase from close to 0% in February to 4% in June and now 8% in August. In real terms, this is an increase from 50-odd daily international visitors to over 700.
We are still a fair way off pre-covid levels where a quarter of visitors were international and visited in their thousands but the signs are looking good for these numbers to continue trending up.
Credit card spend data
We see a similar trend looking at credit card spend data, where we have ramped up to 10% of total tourism spend in June following two years of sitting around the 3% mark. Again, a long way off the pre-covid levels of 30-40% international spend but we’re heading in the right direction.
We’ll be watching this data closely over the upcoming months as flight capacity continues to build but things are looking positive.
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