Tourism businesses star for NZ economy

05 May 2017

- Tourism businesses doing better on every performance measure

- Housing putting the industry under pressure, but employment and wages rising

On the eve of TRENZ, the country’s largest tourism expo, the latest industry data has shown that businesses in the tourism industry are outperforming the SME average on every key measure.

The MYOB Business Monitor survey of over 1,000 SME operators – including 12 per cent from the tourism industry – highlighted that over the last 12 months, 43 per cent of tourism businesses reported revenue growth, compared to the SME average of 36 per cent.

Looking ahead to 2017, tourism operators are expecting to do even better, with 46 per cent expecting revenue to rise – well over the SME average of 38 per cent. The current quarter is looking particularly positive, with almost half (49 per cent) of all SME tourism operators saying they have more sales or bookings in the pipeline.

MYOB General Manager Carolyn Luey says there’s no doubt that the visitor economy, which has now surpassed dairy as our largest industry, is doing very well.

“It’s great to see that not only is the country experiencing record visitor growth but that those earnings are being returned to the local economy through the SMEs in the industry,” says Carolyn Luey.

“Tourism might be big business for the country but its one that many SMEs participate in and drive forward with new and innovative offerings and experiences. The returns that we are seeing for SMEs are therefore very good news for New Zealand as a whole.”

Those earnings are also more likely to be passed on to local workers, according to the survey. A quarter of all tourism SMEs intend to increase the amount they pay their staff this year and nearly a fifth (19 per cent) will be offering more fulltime roles.

“However, many businesses may well be held back by how expensive it is becoming for staff to find accommodation – especially in key visitor markets like Queenstown and Auckland,” says Ms Luey.

According to the Business Monitor, New Zealand’s rising house prices have made it harder for 28 per cent of tourism operators to recruit and retain staff, nearly twice the SME average.

The market is also becoming increasingly competitive says Ms Luey, with 37 per cent expecting competition to put pressure on their business this year.

“Other key pressures putting the squeeze on SME tourism businesses this year are the cost of fuel, narrowing margins and the burden of compliance.”

“What we are seeing here is a market that is doing very well, but needs to keep a close watch on the fundamentals in order to prevent costs and pressures from blowing out and affecting the bottom line.”

“In the wider sense, there’s also some fundamentals we need to address as a country, like affordable accommodation to support the industry, the availability of skilled staff during seasonal peaks and the costs of a number of compliance areas, especially around health and safety and the resource management.”

“New Zealand has a fantastic industry in tourism, but we need to take a very careful look at how we are managing its growth and planning for the future,” she says.


For further comment or other information please contact:
Conor Roberts, MYOB NZ Communications and Public Affairs Manager
M: 021 124 6004 / E:

Gerard Blank, The Agency Communications Limited Director
P: 03 341 5841 / M: 0275 243 629 / E:

About MYOB

MYOB (ASX: MYO) is a leading cloud based business management solutions provider. It makes business life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand by simplifying accounting, payroll, tax, practice management, CRM, websites, job costing, inventory and more. MYOB provides ongoing support via many client service channels including a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. It is committed to ongoing innovation, particularly in cloud computing solutions, and in 2015 was awarded the BRW award for the most innovative large company for 500+ employees and placed 2nd in BRW’s Most Innovative Companies Award list across all categories nationally.  For more information, visit or follow @MYOB on Twitter.

About the MYOB Business Monitor

The MYOB Business Monitor is a national survey of 1,000+ New Zealand small and medium business owners and managers, from sole traders to mid-sized companies, representing the major industry sectors. It has run since 2009, commissioned to independent market research firm Colmar Brunton. This most recent survey ran in February/March 2016. The Monitor researches business performance and attitudes in areas such as profitability, cash flow, pipeline, technology usage and the government. The weighting of respondents by both geographical location and sector is based on overall market proportions as established by Statistics New Zealand and is drawn from an independent survey group, which includes both MYOB clients and non-clients.