Strong start to summer season with record high in visitor spend
30 January 2017: Sun seekers and surf chasers have helped take spending in the coastal Bay of Plenty to an all-time high, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
With a $6 million increase year-on-year, spending for the month of December in the coastal Bay of Plenty region (from Waihi Beach to Whakatane) was up 5% to $118 million. This figure marks an eight-year high for the region.
The region also outperformed its neighbour Rotorua, which saw $90 million in spending for the month.
Tourism Bay of Plenty CEO Kristin Dunne says the summer season is always the region’s most successful, but with an increase in cruise and holidaymakers over the Christmas break, the new result is even better than expected.
“January is historically our top month for visitor spending, so to reach an all-new record a month early bodes well for 2017. We’re thrilled with the results, which put our goal of becoming a billion-dollar firmly within our reach.”
These latest figures round out a successful year, with the coastal Bay of Plenty maintaining its position as one of the top performing regions, thanks to a 2016 year-end total spend of $933m.
Of this, $208m was from international visitors (an increase of 14.8% year-on-year) and $725m from domestic visitors (up 8% from 2015).
Contributing to this success also was an increase in spend outside of the peak summer season. The region’s six-month average for shoulder and off-peak season spending (June to November) came in at $65m per month, up from $59m per month last year.
July, one of the region’s typically quieter periods, saw a huge increase of 17.5% year-on-year alone, largely due to high-quality events, increased retail opportunities and a growing café and restaurant culture during cooler months.
Kristin says it’s a fantastic end to 2016 and sets the bar for the year ahead.
“We’re starting the year as we mean to continue, by putting long-term strategies in place to ensure we perform well all-year round.
“This started with the launch of our No Place Like Home community survey, which seeks to engage residents and local operators. From the feedback we receive, this will help us create bigger and better events and opportunities, and together will grow and develop the region into a thriving location for visitors and locals alike.”
To share your views on the region, what you love to do and what could be improved, visit www.noplacelikehome.nz
Created: 21 February 2017
Last updated: 21 February 2017