Visa’s Inbound Spend Report 2017 showed where international residents visiting New Zealand come from and how they spend their money.

The highest spending markets in the country have not changed from 2016 and 2015, but all the biggest countries have spent more. Australia and New Zealand topped the growth list, together representing 46 percent of the total visitor spend.

Germany, the country with the fifth largest spend, had a significant growth spike. Visitors from Germany spent 29 percent more in the market this year than in the previous year, making a total combined annual spend of NZ$92 million.

The total spend from international Visa cardholders contributed NZD 3.4 billion to the New Zealand economy, an increase of 15 percent from 2016.

Visitors from Korea, Singapore and China had the highest average transaction size. Travellers from all three Asian countries averaged over NZ$130 per transaction, with Singapore the highest at $165.78.

The leading consumer categories were shopping and retail, lodging, and restaurants – making the top three unchanged from last year. Food and grocery, fuel and transport, entertainment, vehicle rental and travel services were the next biggest categories. Restaurants, as well as fuel and transportation, saw the biggest growth, the former saw a +27 percent change and the latter +26 percent.

Additionally, more visitors to New Zealand than ever before are using contactless payments, rising by 95 percent from 2016. Australians accounted for 66 percent of the total contactless spend. Accountholders from Germany, China and the UK all more than doubled their contactless spend in 2017. In the contactless category, lodging, apparel and accessories, transportation and entertainment were the fastest-growing categories – growing more than 100 percent year-on-year.