Visitors spend more in Hamilton & Waikato

PRESS RELEASE: Hamilton & Waikato Tourism

Visitors to Hamilton & Waikato are spending more than this time last year, with nearly $1.44 billion ringing through tills across the region.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson says the mighty Waikato was fifth nationally for monthly visitor expenditure for August 2017, just in behind the major tourism centres of Auckland, Queenstown, Christchurch and Wellington.

“Last August saw $101 million spent in our region, which is a four percent increase on spending from the same period last year. We are seeing marked increases across the board and it is a testament to the hard work of our tourism, retail and hospitality providers within our region,” Dawson says.

Domestically, the spend of $77 million put the region in fourth behind major centres Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, he added.

Internationally, the spend was $24 million with the region sitting in sixth position nationally, and ranking above some traditionally strong tourism centres.

The $101m was spread well across the different services throughout the region – visitors shopped up a storm, with retail sales measuring $27m; spending at restaurants, cafes and bars in the region totalling $16m; while other tourism products garnered a $15m spend. Fuel and sales of alcohol, food and drinks totalled $27m combined. Cultural, recreation and gambling services gained $7m, with accommodation services and passenger transport taking in $5m each.

Year to date (to the end of August 2017), Hamilton & Waikato had a total visitor expenditure of $1.448 billion, in fifth position behind Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington. This is a seven percent (7%) increase on the previous year.

“It is great to see an increase in the expenditure over the shoulder season, which shows the Hamilton & Waikato region is becoming a year-round destination. Visitor spend directly benefits our region, growing employment for our people, developing opportunities for our communities and making businesses more sustainable.”

And the potential of the region was still being explored, he says.

“The Hamilton & Waikato region is still an emerging visitor destination and we are working hard to deliver new products and experiences in our region. We are into the second year of executing the Tourism Opportunities & Development Plan which plans to grow the ‘value’ of the visitor dollar across our region over the next 5-10 years.”

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