School Holidays
Domestic Tourism Report.

A snapshot of domestic tourism from 26th September – 11th October 2020

100,000

MORE DOMESTIC VISITORS AROUND THE COUNTRY, ON AVERAGE, COMPARED TO THE TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE HOLIDAYS.

The middle of the school holidays saw the highest number of Kiwis travelling across the country, with 580,000 people outside their home regions on Saturday 3 October. Smaller peaks of 480,000 and 530,000 were recorded on the first and last Saturdays of the school holidays.

2,500

More New Zealanders visited Queenstown - a 27.3% increase on last year.

20,000

Fewer New Zealanders were outside of their home region at the peak of spring school holiday travel, compared to the winter school holidays.

How are these insights produced?

Data Ventures is working together with the major telecommunication companies in New Zealand. Using the aggregated and anonymised mobile data[*] provided to them, along with Stats NZ expertise, Data Ventures has created population estimates of residents and visitors in New Zealand every hour down to suburb level. Read more in the footnotes section.

NOTE: Due to an improvement in methodology, the numbers in this report should not be directly compared to numbers in our previous tourism reports.

A view of tourism across New Zealand.

Covid-19 Alert Level 1 has allowed us to get out and explore more of our own backyard. With restrictions on international visitors entering New Zealand it’s now worth looking at how tourism has changed across our country. To do that we have highlighted international and domestic visitor numbers, as well as our mobility index.[*].

We describe a domestic visitor as someone who is outside of their local tourism region. These regions are defined by Regional Tourism Organisations.

The mobility index is a measurement to understand changes in inter-regional movement. A positive number indicates an increase in movement against a baseline. A negative number indicates a decrease.

Domestic Visitors

580K

PEAK DOMESTIC VISITORS
IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS

International Visitors

120K

INTERNATIONAL VISITORS IN NZ
IN THE LAST two WEEKS

National mobility index

HIGHEST

LEVELS OF NATIONAL MOBILITY
ON SUNDAY 11 OCTOBER

The weekend peaks in mobility during the school holidays suggest that Kiwis wait until weekends to travel between regions. Mobility was at its highest on the final day of the holidays. Did Kiwis leave it until the last day to return to their home region, or did Aucklanders get moving after their return to Alert Level 1?

NOTE: The vertical lines represent COVID-19 Alert Levels as they progressed, starting at the first line when NZ borders closed, through to our current alert level . The coloured lines denote the return to Alert Level 1 for the rest of New Zealand and Auckland, respectively.

The change in domestic visitor numbers across tourism regions.

In this section we explore domestic visitor numbers before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown periods. These are presented by each of the 35 tourism areas across New Zealand. The current list of tourism regions that we use can be found on the Stats NZ Ariā definitions website.

Note: Click on the graphs to view a larger version.

northland

NOTE: The vertical lines represent COVID-19 Alert Levels as they progressed, starting at the first line when NZ borders closed, through to our current alert level . The coloured lines denote the return to Alert Level 1 for the rest of New Zealand and Auckland, respectively.

The change in domestic visitor numbers year on year.

This section compares domestic visitor numbers from this year’s spring school holidays (Saturday 26 September – Sunday 11 October 2020) to last year’s (Saturday 28 September – Sunday 13 October 2019). Domestic tourist numbers were similar or slightly lower than last year in most of the country. This comparison shows that Kiwis may be choosing to head to more remote locations rather than urban areas.

The current list of tourism regions that we use can be found on Stats NZ Ariā.

PLEASE NOTE: these year-on-year comparisons are likely to be underestimates. This is because recent network upgrades by one of our data suppliers led to a domestic visitor undercount of roughly 10%, on average, across the tourism regions. The impact of the undercount is expected to be greater in coastal regions.

Estimates: 2020 SPRING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS vs 2019 SPRING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS