Bay of Plenty booms as visitor spending continues upward
31 March 2017: The Bay of Plenty’s reputation as a region on the rise is having a positive effect on the tourism sector with latest figures showing a $63 million increase in year-to-year spend.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) latest statistics show year-end spending to February in the coastal Bay of Plenty region (which encompasses both the Western Bay of Plenty/Tauranga and Kawerau-Whakatane districts) was up 6.7%, from $876m in February 2016 to $939m in February 2017.
Overseas visitors attributed for nearly a quarter of the annual guest spend, $213 million, up 13.3% on the previous year. The Bay of Plenty also retained its position as a popular spot for Kiwis with $725m of the total year-to-date spend attributed to the domestic market, up 5%.
At the same time, spending for the month of February was up 4% to $87 million, outperforming its neighbour Rotorua, which saw $75 million in spending for the month.
Tourism Bay of Plenty CEO Kristin Dunne is thrilled with the latest figures which come at the tail-end of a busy summer season.
“While we had a fantastic summer period, the consistency of these upwards figures heading into the cooler months show the Bay of Plenty has much more than traditional summer holiday appeal, with an abundance of natural attractions, increased retail opportunities and a growing café and restaurant culture,” she says.
“It’s also exciting to see overseas visitor spending on the rise.”
Ms Dunne says the region is starting to reap the rewards of careful planning and putting long-term strategies in place to draw out the peak season into the shoulder months (March/April – October/November) - a key goal for Tourism Bay of Plenty.
These upward trending figures also come at a time when the Bay of Plenty has been ranked the fastest-growing region in the country at 7.7%, according to latest Statistics New Zealand data.
The region performed strongly across the professional and administrative services, and agriculture, primarily kiwifruit.
Ms Dunne says such indicators show the Bay is in a strong position nationally, and such growth can only mean positive things for the region in the future.
The growth in both the economy and visitor numbers, feeds into region-wide initiatives Tourism Bay of Plenty is implementing, primarily the No Place Like Home campaign.
The campaign, rolled out in January, is a community-focussed project, designed to make residents aware of experiences and attractions in the region that are uniquely Bay of Plenty.
By seeking engagement and feedback from residents and local operators, Tourism Bay of Plenty aims to create bigger and better events and opportunities, which will grow and develop the region into a thriving location for visitors and locals alike.
“While in its infancy, the No Place Like Home campaign has massive potential and will help connect with locals to share the ‘nuggets of gold’ and encourage them to be ambassadors for their region.
“We received an amazing level of feedback to the survey and this is already helping pave the way for the region to push towards our goal of becoming a billion-dollar tourism industry,” explains Ms Dunne.
Created: 04 April 2017
Last updated: 23 May 2017