Media release: Population growth and consumer spending drive regional economies for now

The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor highlights that almost all regional economies continue to grow, driven by population growth and sustained consumer confidence. However, concerns are growing about future growth, with a long, slow, slowdown expected over the next few years.

Economic impacts of events

Events can be a great way to stimulate a local area – bringing a cash injection from out of town visitors, raising the profile of an area and local businesses to visitors and migrants, or simply bringing a community closer together. Many communities choose to support events which align with their strategic goals, but it’s important to assess if the benefits really stack up, and if a public investment is warranted. Infometrics offers an event impact calculator to our regional clients, empowering them to calculate impacts for themselves.

Recapping a summer of tourism

All popular opinion seemed to be turning against tourism in the summer of 2017/18. Media stories were dominated with, among others, tales of inconsiderate freedom campers and overcrowding at our most popular spots. Heading into the 2018/19 summer, it seemed as if little had changed, except for a smattering of new public toilets. With international tourism data out now, we’ve looked at how the tourism market performed, with some insights into the coming season based on our knowledge of the tourism sector.

390,000 Airbnb guest nights in Auckland, 180,000 in Queenstown

Airbnb’s explosive growth has been integral in helping to ease accommodation bottlenecks in the New Zealand tourism sector over the past year. There are now around 20,000 listings on Airbnb in New Zealand and hosts earned a total of $55m over the March 2017 year. Of the $55m spent on Airbnb accommodation in New Zealand over the past year, $22m was spent in Auckland and $17m was earned by hosts in Queenstown-Lakes District.

Regional Economic Profile reveals 10% job growth in Queenstown

Queenstown-Lakes District was New Zealand’s top performing territorial authority during 2016, with employment expanding by a stonking 10.3% over the March 2016 year. This growth was almost four times the 2.7% rate of employment expansion seen nationally, and well above the 5.9% employment growth recorded by second-placed Western Bay of Plenty District. This article reveals more about Queenstown’s stellar year, along with a sneak peek at Infometrics’ 2016 Regional Economic Profile (official release: February 28) to see which other places also had rapid employment growth.

Counting the damage

This week has been an eventful one for us here at Infometrics.  Even though our Wellington office is closed, we’re still up and running, working from home.  The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for Statistics NZ – their building has sustained severe damage and a few data releases have been delayed this week.  These recent events have prompted us to focus on New Zealand’s disaster resilience and the effects this earthquake will have on our tourism industry.

Regional growth isn’t only about the big cities

It has been a good year so far for most parts of regional New Zealand, with much of the country enjoying healthy economic growth across a range of spending, investment, and labour market indicators. For many places, renewed interest in their local economies has been a welcome change, after years of subdued spending and population stagnation. This article gives a quick round up of some key themes apparent in Infometrics’ June 2016 Quarterly Economic Monitor, with links to more insights about selected areas.

The demand crisis facing tourism

Soaring international visitor arrival numbers have thrown the spotlight on New Zealand’s tourism sector, with concerns expressed about whether we have the infrastructure to cope with the massive lift in arrivals that has occurred over the last three years.  John Key has pledged $12m to provide better facilities, such as public toilets, to areas with small populations but a big tourism presence.  The government has also established “Project Palace” to try and attract investment for the construction of new hotels, with the availability of accommodation becoming a significant constraint in many parts of the country.