The Audi quattro Winter Games attracted 865 athletes and pumped a record $13.4m into Central Otago, says the event’s organisers.
A record 45,400 bed nights plus other revenue from visitors generated the added value – the largest ever in the event’s history.
“This is such an outstanding result and the figures are calculated purely from those who came to New Zealand and Central Otago primarily because of the Winter Games,” said Winter Games NZ chief executive Arthur Klap.
The international contribution was $9.38m with domestic visitors contributing $4.02m. The resulting net national benefit from the international visitors is calculated at $7.23m. This valuation included international sponsorship, grants and sales of more than $785,000.
Klap said the result would be even more significant if the value to New Zealand of the extensive media coverage, particularly television and social media, was included in the calculations.
“By January 31 2018 the Games will have achieved more than 1,000 hours of international coverage from more than 10,000 transmissions which is obviously of enormous value to New Zealand particularly in terms of tourism,” said Klap.
“The huge international coverage, through television, social and print media that the Audi quattro Winter Games received make the 2017 edition one of the most widely seen events ever in the history of NZ sport.”
“Of particular note, is the significant media attention given to the Games in Asia, the United States and Europe – areas in which New Zealand seldom gets a mention in a sporting context. When the coverage the Games received in Australia is added, this represents a major proportion of New Zealand’s key tourism targets,” he said.
Winter Games NZ Trust Board chairman Sir Eion Edgar said the exceptional economic return reinforced that the 2017 Games were the most successful to date.
“This is a fitting tribute to Arthur Klap who is standing down as chief executive of Winter Games NZ,” said Sir Eion.
“His inspired leadership during the past ten years has ensured that the event has continued to grow in importance both locally, throughout New Zealand and internationally, so that it is now recognised as the third most important winter multi-snow sports event in the world after the Winter Olympics and the X Games.”
Currently, the Games are held every two years but Sir Eion said planning for the high profile event to be held annually is expected to be finalised by the board in the next few weeks.
“We consider the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ have come of age and are ready to take their place as a significant annual fixture on the international snow sports calendar,” said Sir Eion. “By becoming annual we are confident we can provide the event with the stability it needs to continue to raise the bar.”