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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Hospitality hit hard – Media release

11 May 2020

Card spending on hospitality fell drastically in April 2020, Stats NZ said today.

“Spending on both eating out and accommodation away from home was almost non-existent in April due to the COVID-19 lockdown,” retail statistics manager Kathy Hicks said.

In actual terms, spending on businesses including cafes, restaurants, takeaway food, and bars (food and beverage services) fell 95 percent ($814 million) compared with April 2019. This followed a 29 percent ($266 million) fall in March 2020 compared with March 2019.

Spending on businesses including motels, hotels, and other such accommodation fell 94 percent ($209 million) compared with April 2019. This followed a 37 percent ($97 million) fall in March 2020 compared with March 2019.

Sales on travel and tourism at record low

“Travel agency spending also fell in April, after New Zealand shut its borders on March 19 and locals stayed home,” Ms Hicks said.

Seasonally adjusted spending on travel agency and tour arrangement services fell 82 percent ($40 million) in April 2020, following a 57 percent ($64 million) fall in March 2020.

“For the first time in our collection, travel agency and tour arrangement services spending fell to negative numbers. This is because the value of refunds received exceeded purchases,” Ms Hicks said.

To provide more information on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on retail card spending, Stats NZ will continue to publish more lower-level data covering the period to August 2020.

See Electronic card transactions: April 2020 to download this month’s figures.

Key travel restrictions and COVID-19 Alert System timeline:

19 March 2020: New Zealand’s borders closed to almost all travellers, except for returning New Zealanders.

23 March 2020: New Zealand enters COVID-19 alert level 3 (Restrict)

25 March 2020: New Zealand enters COVID-19 alert level 4

28 April 2020: New Zealand enters COVID-19 alert level 3

MIL OSI