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12 Feb 2015
Strong growth in visitor numbers across the Nov-Jan holiday period has meant a merry Christmas and a happy New Year for Wellington businesses. Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks says that Statistics NZ data shows the city has been pumping with visitors this summer, with spending at near-record levels.
“Over 26,000 more guest nights were spent in Wellington in November-December, a 7.3% increase compared with 2013. People are staying longer and getting more out of their time in Wellington, which is the Holy Grail for our industry.”
Tourism Industry Association Hotels Regional Chair Steve Martin agrees:
“In terms of occupancy, this has been the strongest November to January we’ve seen in at least five years. At a time of year when corporate travel typically slows down, this kind of performance is especially welcome.”
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment data shows spending by visitors to Wellington was at near-record levels in both November and December, says Wellington City Council’s Councillor for Economic Development, Jo Coughlan.
“Domestic and international spend indexes increased by 5% and 22% respectively in December, while the monthly index for Australian spending in Wellington was the highest since records began in 2008.”
Brand and digital campaign activity, media coverage, major events and an overall increase in international visitors to New Zealand all contributed to the summer’s record performance, Mr Perks says.
“The launch of the It’s Never Just a Weekend when it’s in Wellington campaign in October and the Wondrous Wellington Advent Calendar both drove a huge surge in domestic visits to WellingtonNZ.com, and in turn bodies in beds.
“We’ve also had incredible coverage from BBC, RoughGuides.com, Lonely Planet and Vogue over the past few months, while nearly a quarter of ticket sales to the likes of the Four Nations Rugby League Grand Final in November and Nitro Circus in January were to visitors from outside the region.”
With a huge events line-up and Wellington featuring in several ‘hot destinations’ lists for 2015, the exceptional summer performance could be the start of a bumper year for Wellington, says Mr Perks.
“Interest is high internationally and with the establishment of WREDA (Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency), Wellington is perfectly positioned to capitalise on a healthy visitor market and ever growing profile to further drive economic and social benefits for our city.”