The high kiwi dollar is having a negative impact on the experience tourists have here, according to Tourism New Zealand.
The New Zealand dollar is trading at more than US82c, up from US77c a year ago, and activities, meals and accommodation are seeming more expensive to people travelling here from overseas, according to the latest Visitor Experience Monitor which surveyed 4500 tourists.
While the number of people likely to recommend visiting New Zealand was unchanged for the 2011-12 year from 2010-11, tourists are taking part in fewer activities due to cost - 12.9 activities per visit each compared to 13.8 a year earlier.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said the decrease was consistent with spending trends.
"Cost is a key consideration for visitors when determining the number of activities they will participate in during their holiday . . . it is clear the current strength of the New Zealand dollar is having an impact. While satisfaction scores around the quality of services have seen an improvement on last year, visitor satisfaction with the price of activities, food and beverage and accommodation has decreased."
The high New Zealand dollar had been discussed a lot more in the public domain in recent weeks, Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand chief executive Martin Snedden said.
"The short answer is, yes, the more expensive something is to the purchaser, the harder they'll think about whether or not they want to purchase, so it's not surprising. The seller has to keep providing the best possible value, because if they are getting fantastic value, price becomes less important. We saw that last year with the Rugby World Cup - prices were high but customer satisfaction was so high that a lot of the anticipated angst about costs dropped away."
Rotorua's excavated Maori village tourist attraction Buried Village general manager Pam McGrath said it had been a tough couple of years for tourism but there were affordable deals available. "Most Australians still seem to be happy and we're quite generous with our family tickets. There are quite a few offers where people can get a cheaper rate."
Hawke's Bay luxury lodge and golf course Cape Kidnappers general manager Kerry Molloy said all tourism was in a downturn. "It seems sightly easier for Australians to use their parity to go to the US and do their holiday of a lifetime. Having said that, we're still getting good numbers through."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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