Falling kiwi could spell less cruising for New Zealanders
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - A cruise industry leader says the falling Kiwi dollar against the United States currency could be an impediment to growth in cruising by New Zealanders.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A cruise industry leader says the falling Kiwi dollar against the United States currency could be an impediment to growth in cruising by New Zealanders.
The Cruise Line Industry Association today released figures which shows New Zealand has retained its place as one of the world’s fastest growing cruise markets, with numbers up more than 10 percent to 65,600 last year compared to 2013.
Association general manager for Australasia, Brett Jardine, said it was “possible” the falling dollar would reduce demand as cruises, many of which are priced in US dollars, become expensive.
But there were no signs of any fall in demand yet and the increasingly popular European river cruising was priced in Euros against which the kiwi dollar remained relatively strong.
The New Zealand dollar is down from a high of 88c against the greenback last July to just over 70c today, falling more than a cent following the Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates.
Travel agents say the falling dollar doesn’t necessarily stop people taking trips overseas but may mean they spend a shorter time there, choose cheaper accommodation or eat out at least expensive restaurants.
However, the lower kiwi makes New Zealand more attractive to tourists.
Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts said a sustained fall in the dollar was great news for the sector and provide a second wind after strong growth in the past 18 months.
The fall against the Australian dollar was welcome, especially just before the ski season.
“It does take some pressure off – being around 90c is a lot better than close to parity,” he said.
Tourism New Zealand, the government funded marketing organization, is about to launch a campaign in key markets overseas and with New Zealand less expensive now the timing was ideal.
Roberts said although it was hard to measure, the domestic tourism industry did benefit when New Zealanders were discouraged from traveling overseas.