15 Nov 2011
A 51% surge in the international market saw Wellington’s largest ever September for commercial guest nights, according to Statistics New Zealand figures released yesterday.
Wellington's total guest nights for September were up 7.8%, driven by a 51% increase in international visitors. This compared with 0.3% growth across New Zealand and follows a record winter in the capital.
Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks says while it wasn’t surprising the Rugby World Cup had resulted in record international guest nights for the month, the level of growth was remarkable.
“What’s fantastic to see is also that not only was it the highest number of international nights ever for September, it was also the busiest September overall and puts the quarterly growth at just under 20%.”
While the event had displaced business as usual from the domestic and corporate markets, the month had still recorded an overall 6% growth to a record September high of 175,208 commercial guest nights. The busiest previous total September was 165,161 nights in 2009.
“Rugby World Cup has of course been more lucrative for some types of businesses over others. As well as through the team and support crew hosting, a lot of this growth will have been through the motor park and motel sectors, which proved very popular with tournament visitors. “
The key now is to leverage the ambassadors we have created on the ground and the coverage that was beamed around the world, Mr Perks says.
“Most visitors came from traditional visitor markets such as the UK, but there were also great indicators from emerging markets such as France. The South African media and visitors Wellington hosted also fell in love with this place, but that's not a market New Zealand really plays in when it comes to tourism. So we now need to look at how we can leverage ongoing opportunities out of what could be a developing market through trade relationships and digital channels to ensure the opportunity is maximised."
NOTES TO EDITORS
Positively Wellington Tourism (PWT) is the regional tourism organisation for Wellington. It is a council-controlled organisation primarily funded by Wellington City Council through the Downtown Levy, a targeted rate paid by commercial ratepayers in downtown Wellington.
Wellington Tourism statistics
• Visitors spend over $2200 in the Wellington region per minute - $1.2 billion every year. (Source: Ministry of Economic Development Regional Tourism Data).
• Over four million visits are made to Wellington every year: 750,000 international and over 3.4 million domestic. (Source: Ministry of Economic Development Regional Tourism Data).