Angus & Associates’ latest findings from their Views on Tourism research, reveal a significant increase in support for international visitors in New Zealand.


Angus & Associates’ latest findings from their Views on Tourism research, reveal a significant increase in support for international visitors in New Zealand.

With the relaxing of border restrictions and a resumption of international travel, positive sentiment towards international tourism has rebounded in New Zealand.

Angus & Associates have been conducting their ‘Views on Tourism’ research in New Zealand and Australia since 2018.

The final report for 2022 shows support for international tourism in New Zealand at its highest level since the survey began. And for the first time, the level of support is equal to that seen in Australia.

A key metric from Views on Tourism is the Tourism Approval Rating, which considers both the positive and negative impacts of tourism on local communities, to give an overall score.

The International Tourism Approval Rating in New Zealand had shown a steady decline from a net positive 42 in 2018, to a net positive 28 in 2021. But in 2022 this bounced up to a rating of 44.

Australia is virtually identical, with a rating of 45. However, pre-COVID Australians had been more positive than Kiwis about international visitors, with a 59 rating in 2018.

Managing Director of Angus & Associates, Chris Roberts, says the research indicates that support in New Zealand for international tourism is driven by two factors – communities experiencing the positive impacts from the return of visitors, and avoiding some of the pain points that were becoming evident pre-COVID.

Positive sentiment is most strongly influenced by Kiwis observing “more local businesses opening or being able to stay open”, “improved services for my/our community” and “has encouraged more sustainable behaviour in my community” as a result of local tourism activity. Conversely, negative sentiment towards tourism is most strongly influenced by “a reduced sense of belonging in my/our community” and “too much pressure on community infrastructure (e.g., roads, wastewater, toilet facilities)”.

Chris Roberts says the closing of borders due to the pandemic has clearly had an impact on attitudes.

“It seems that Kiwis are now more aware of the benefits that tourism activity in their community can deliver, because they have also seen what is lost when there are no international visitors.”

The proportion of New Zealand residents aged 18 and over who have personally experienced any adverse local impacts of tourism has also fallen from 73% in 2019 (pre-Covid) to 64% in 2022.

Chris Roberts says the research reinforces the importance of listening to communities and managing our destinations properly.

“Visitor numbers will keep increasing as airline capacity grows, and the tourism industry must remain very mindful of sharing tourism’s benefits and eliminating its burdens.

“Every region in New Zealand has worked on Destination Management Plans over the last couple of years, largely motivated by social license concerns. These plans need to be supported and implemented.

“Having seen for themselves the impact of closed borders, Kiwis have become more aware of the local benefits that international tourism brings. But quite rightly, they are also not prepared to bear the brunt of poorly managed tourism,” Chris Roberts said.

Click here for a high res copy of the infographics for publication with this story. 



Views on Tourism is part of a wider Visitor Insights Programme that studies travel attitudes and experiences and is undertaken by Angus & Associates in New Zealand and Australia. The programme has been running continuously for more than 10 years and captures information on the travel experiences and opinions of more than 5,000 people aged 18 years and over each year.



Angus & Associates is a Wellington-based strategy and research company established in 2002. The company provides independent research and professional advice for public and private sector organisations in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East.



For media queries please contact:

Chris Roberts

Managing Director

+64 21 534 010