Kiwis spend $1.5b more travelling at home
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Kiwis spent $1.5 billion more on travelling around their own country in the year to June, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
The latest domestic travel survey produced by the ministry reveals a 16 per cent boost in spending year-on-year to $10.4b, as Kiwis travelled more to see family and friends and for business.
Peter Ellis, tourism research and evaluation manager at the ministry, said spending on business trips surged 21 per cent or $600 million to $3.5b.
"For the last three quarters, spending on business trips has exceeded that of holidays - something we've never seen before."
The increased spending also reflected higher food and transport costs, Ellis said.
"Spending by domestic travellers on food and alcohol rose by 18 per cent to $2.8b in the year ending June 2012, while transport costs rose 15 per cent, to $3.6b, most likely a result of higher petrol prices."
Ellis said the Rugby World Cup would have had some impact on domestic travel, but the survey was not the right tool to measure it.
"We don't think it's the reason why overall spending has gone up so much. The rugby is only going to be a small part of it."
Domestic travel could be an indicator of economic confidence, so increased travel was encouraging, he said.
"It does go down a bit during economic lows. The increase in business travel is definitely a positive economic sign."
The domestic travel survey is an annual phone survey of 15,000 New Zealand residents undertaken throughout the year.
Data is collected on day trips where 40 kilometres or more has been travelled one way from home and overnight trips.
- © Fairfax NZ News