Updated TECNZ International Arrival Forecasts 23-25

28 March 2023
TECNZ has updated its international arrival forecasts with some new assumptions. We hope you find them useful.

See below a copy of the Forecast data and spreadsheet. The spreadsheet has detail on 30 countries. Go to May 2021 to view graphs. Go to May 2023, 2024, and 2025 tabs to look at recovery percentages.

Included in the forecast we have factored in ‘actual’ StatsNZ monthly/YE performance from October, November, December 2022 and January 2023 periods. We’ve used a bit of a crystal ball to forecast how Feb and Mar 2023 will perform based on airline and ITO bookings.

Australia, UK, US, Canada and Singapore are performing well (Oct-Jan). Germany, Europe and Asian markets are slower to return to NZ. China only just started to return in March 2023.

Since Jan 2023, several new trends have emerged. Some of these trends could affect the upcoming 23-24 season both in a positive and negative way.

  • NZ must remove the current 7-day self-isolation Covid setting. Causing major problems.
  • Return of Chinese visitors
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup visitors
  • Concern about NZ’s profile with cyclone impact and infrastructure issues
  • Ongoing effect of Ukraine-Russia war
  • High levels of inflation in key source markets affecting disposable income to travel
  • Energy crisis in Europe

Our last forecast in Nov 2022 suggested YE May 2023 annual arrivals would be at 63%. We have modified that based on information above.

New forecast by 1 May 2023 annual number of arrivals 1,720,255 to be approximately 51% . If February and March 2023 arrivals perform well this could push to 55-57%. TECNZ forecasts factor in China stopped travelling to NZ end Jan 2020 and other Asian markets by end of Feb 2020 which is why we use the YE Mar 2020 figures of 3.6million as a base for forecasts, not 3.9million as noted with StatsNZ.

In looking at StatsNZ YE Jan 2023 total arrivals at 1,688,950 if we add est. 250,000 arrivals each in Feb and Mar 2023 (Jan was 265,388), we could push over to 2,188,950 arrivals. Based on this data, annual recovery rate (arrivals) might pitch 56-60% by 30 April 2023. As at YE Jan 2023, the number of annual holiday arrivals was at 32% and VFR arrivals at 65%.

Global Inbound Alliance Update: Recovery compared to 2019 pre-Covid figures:

  • Australia: Slower recovery than expected about 50-55%. Tracking about 40% return of holiday/leisure visitors. Long-haul markets challenging. Airline connectivity and high cost of tickets affecting return of visitors. Supply side issues, demand is there but not enough workers. Everyone feeling it. Lack of tour guides, experienced coach drivers and coaches. Similar to NZ.
  • Ireland: Recovery good 70-80%. Tsunami of demand, businesses unable to cope. US strong performers. Inflation high. Lots of VFR. Still tricky attracting holiday/leisure visitors. High cost of rental cars and hotel rooms. Profitability still marginal due to lots of carried forward bookings (on credit). Loss of 30% hotel rooms to accommodate Ukraine refugees and asylum seekers.
  • South Africa: High-end premium travellers returning. Should achieve about 65% compared to pre-Covid. US strong performer. South Africa is tracking behind other Southern African nations. Kenya at 115%, Tanzania 125%. Missing middle market. Country has ongoing problems with power outages.
  • UK: Good recovery. Visit Britain reports 86% arrival recovery and 105% value ($) recovery. Border Nationality Bill (Brexit) might impact future visitor trends. Any European travelling to UK now needs a full passport and in the future an eTA (electronic travel authority).