New Zealand's closed borders has put pressure on the nation's tourism industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and without international visitors the country faces a $12.9 billion deficit that can't be solved with domestic travel, according to a new report.
New research by Tourism New Zealand has revealed it would take 12 overnight trips by a local to equal the spend of just one international visitor.
Figures out this morning also show visiting tourists spend three-times more daily than locals.
The report recommend the country embraces the technology sector to lift tourism productivity.
"Embracing technology and digital capability could lift tourism productivity even further. This could result in higher wages and better standards of living, especially for our regional communities," Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said.
"Kiwis are doing a fantastic job travelling domestically but New Zealand will need high-value international visitors to sustain the sector and the economy outside weekends and public holidays.
"The tourism sector should be incredibly proud about the value it brings to Aotearoa and these insights help demonstrate the important role they play for New Zealand.
"Tourism is a major employer of women and youth and on average every $178,000 of visitor spend creates one new job. These jobs are important for our regions, especially where there may be few other employment options."
Insights from Tourism New Zealand will be shared with the Government and industry, with more research expected to be conducted in the coming months.