Mainstream Queenstown on the outer, travellers want 'authentic' experiences
Queenstown still receives the "lion's share" of tourists, but new figures suggest travellers are looking for more "authentic" experiences when visiting New Zealand.
Marketview's latest tourism report shows spending in mainstream tourist locations like Queenstown, Rotorua and Auckland grew by 83.2 per cent over the past three years to June, but spending in regional locations jumped 165.5 per cent.
Tourists from "new markets" like China, India, Indonesia, Argentina and Brazil had jumped by 80 per cent in the last three years, the report showed.
Marketview managing director Steven Bridle said more independent travellers hitting New Zealand shores wanted experiences off the "beaten tourist trails".
"Our figures show confident, independent tourists want unique and authentic experiences centred on specific interests. Those here for cycling, fishing, golf and even shopping can find uniquely Kiwi almost anywhere in the country."
Experiences originally set-up and aimed primarily at New Zealander's like the Otago Central Rail trail and wine tours, were now catching the attention of overseas visitors, Bridle said.
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said visitors wanting more unique experiences was "positive" for Queenstown.
"The magic of Queenstown is that there are experiences for all visitors, and there's new things to do across the spectrum of attractions opening each year," Budd said.
"Regional dispersal" was an industry strategy being promoted by Tourism New Zealand, he said.
"We believe visitors come and explore whole regions.
"It's no new trend for visitors to seek out unique experiences."
Queenstown receives 2.9 million visitors each year. About 67 per cent overseas visitors.