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Lions drive huge international visitor spending boost for Wellington

1 Aug 2017

Wellington experienced a boost to international visitor spending of more than 43% in the month of June 2017, according to Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTE) released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency GM, Venues, Marketing & Destination Development David Perks said the boost was clearly driven by Wellington hosting two matches in DHL New Zealand Lions Series. 

“Thanks to the DHL New Zealand Lions Series, Wellington had far and away the best June on record for international visitor spending. Spending in Wellington by visitors from the UK was three times higher than last June.” 

Mr Perks said the MRTE indicated $55.6 million was spent in Wellington by international visitors this June, a net gain of $16.7 million on June 2016. 

“This is a great result for Wellington, and that’s without even factoring in the Test match weekend – the first two days of July – when visitor numbers and spending peaked.” 

June’s figures capped off a bullish 12 months for international visitor spending in Wellington, which rose by 9.8%, surpassing $800 million for the first time on record. 

Mr Perks said the scale of economic gain was the ‘silver lining’ to the sporting results of Lions matches in Wellington. 

“The Lions put in two of their best performances while in Wellington, and it looks like that inspired their fans to celebrate. We would have happily taken an All Blacks series victory at Westpac Stadium, but millions of dollars shared between Wellingtonians across the region is a pretty good consolation.” 


June International Visitor Spending
Source: Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MBIE)