New Zealand - Country Commercial Guide
Travel & Tourism
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The reopening of New Zealand’s borders in May 2022 is creating a strong rebound in inward and outward-bound travel between the United States and New Zealand.  Simultaneously, a significant investment program is underway by the airline industry to increase both the number of flights and seats between both countries as well as to offer new destination options.  New Zealand travelers have more flight options and U.S. destination choices than ever before. Pre-COVID, approximately 300,000 New Zealanders annually visited the United States – mainly for vacations.  In 2022, New Zealand travel numbers increased approximately 700% on the previous year.

Currently national carrier Air New Zealand provides flights to Hawaii, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and New York.  Pre-COVID, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines all flew into New Zealand and have resumed services with plans to expand flight options.  In April 2023, United Airlines announced its largest ever South Pacific network expansion to and from the continental USA including the first non-stop flights between San Francisco and Christchurch set to commence on December 1, 2023.  American Airlines launched a new daily Auckland to Dallas-Fort Worth, TX route in October 2022 and is relaunching flights from Los Angeles to Auckland on December 21, 2023.  Delta Airlines is due to launch its inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Auckland on October 28, 2023.  Additionally, Qantas is scheduled to fly Auckland to New York from June 14, 2023. 

Several U.S. travel attractions and U.S. states have offices or are represented in New Zealand.  The United States is the most popular long-haul destination for local travelers.  Peak booking periods are February-March and July-August.  Peak season for U.S. travel is in New Zealand’s winter months of June-September.  As New Zealanders recover from the pandemic’s effects, local travelers are seeking safe destinations with good health facilities – and the United States meets these criteria. 

With one of the highest passport ownership numbers globally, New Zealanders are avid travelers.   All full-time employees in New Zealand receive a generous leave package comprising of four weeks paid annual leave plus 11 statutory public holidays.   This means once they are in the United States, New Zealand visitors tend to stay longer (16 days average) and spend more.  The majority of trips are planned at least six months in advance to take advantage of competitive airline prices.

Table: Travel Trade Data





2023 (Estimated)

New Zealand Visitors to the USA





Exchange Rates





Source:  U.S. Department of Commerce, National Travel & Tourism Office (NTTO)

Leading Sub-Sectors

    • Impact Travel – traveling with a purpose and gaining an experience.  New Zealanders are receptive to knowing more about Native American culture.
    • Shopping
    • Trade Events/ Business


U.S. travel and tourism bureaus have the opportunity of meeting New Zealand travel trade buyers and media at the annual IPW trade event hosted by the U.S. Travel Association.  The U.S. Commercial Service in New Zealand supports recruitment of the annual delegation.

Gate 7 based in Sydney, Australia is appointed by Brand USA to support New Zealand’s travel trade industry.  The annual Brand USA seminar program held in Auckland in February is the premier event of its kind in New Zealand for the U.S. travel industry to connect with the local travel trade.  This in-person event takes place back-back with the Australian program.    

The New Zealand Visit USA Committee coordinates regional travel seminars for the local trade.  The New Zealand Visit USA Committee is receptive to knowing of U.S. travel attractions/U.S. states planning to visit New Zealand. 


New Zealand Government agencies active in this sector:

New Zealand private organizations active in this sector: