Key figures just released show tourism is continuing to boom in almost every part of the country, associate tourism minister Paula Bennett said.

The December 2015 Accommodation Survey shows national guest nights were 6.2 per cent higher than the year to December 2014, the 21st consecutive monthly increase.

“In towns and cities across New Zealand, local communities I visit tell me about the positive impact tourism growth is having, in jobs, business growth, and a sense of being able to share what they love about their slice of paradise,” Bennett said.

Domestic guest nights in December 2015 increased by an impressive 6.3 per cent and international guest nights were up by 6 per cent over the same period.

“While international visitor growth is important, it’s fantastic to see more New Zealanders are getting around and seeing what’s on offer in our own backyard,” said Bennett.

“Tourism is a big part of our diverse, resilient economy, directly contributing $10.6 billion or almost 5 per cent to GDP. It’s particularly pleasing to see 11 out of 12 regional areas had more guest nights. Tourism is a big contributor to our regional economies, with over half of international tourism expenditure being spent outside the three major cities. Our well-deserved reputation as a premiere destination is supported by the Government’s commitment to growing the tourism sector.

“Since 2008, we’ve invested over $700 million in tourism and tourism promotion, an unprecedented amount. These December results show it is paying off.”