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WOW® delivers $25 million in visitor spending to Wellington

29 Nov 2016

An economic impact report co-commissioned by WREDA and WOW® indicates total visitor expenditure in Wellington driven by the 2016 World of WearableArt® Awards Show had increased since the 2013 report to over $25 million.

gisella carr justin lester wow
Gisella Carr, WOW® CEO, and Justin Lester, Wellington Mayor, at Wellington International airport.

Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) Chief Executive Chris Whelan says that almost three-quarters of the 58,000 people who saw the World of WearableArt® Awards Show (WOW®) this year came to Wellington from outside the region.

“We’re delighted to welcome tens of thousands of WOW® fans to Wellington every year.  Per person, they are among our highest-spending visitors, and Wellington’s retail, accommodation and hospitality businesses do a fantastic job of catering to them.”

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester says that Wellington can be extremely proud of what WOW® brings to the city.

“WOW® returns the city’s investment many times over in terms of visitor spending. Its also a signature event for Wellington, with its spectacular creativity, world-class theatricality and quirky personality. We’re very pleased to continue our partnership with one of New Zealand’s premier events.”

WOW® Chief Executive Gisella Carr says each year the World of WearableArt® design competition attracts entries from over 40 countries and WOW® creates a new theatrical extravaganza to showcase the finalists. It is this promise of surprise that entices people back to Wellington.

“The majority of our fans come to see the awards show more than once because each year is exciting and different from the one before. As well as the show, our audience clearly enjoys the festival atmosphere that Wellington creates for them during the three week run of WOW. We are grateful to both our audience and the city for their support and enthusiasm for WOW,” Carr says. “Meanwhile, our reputation as New Zealand’s most technically challenging theatrical production helps us continue to expand our a new fan base.”

“While we celebrate an incredibly successful 2016 show, our eyes are now firmly on future opportunities with the 2017 show already taking shape,” she says. “Preparations for our 30th anniversary in 2018 are ramping up too. This is going to be a wonderful opportunity for WOW and Wellington to celebrate the outstanding achievements of founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff and those around her who built WOW from scratch to the phenomenon it is today.”

Wellington’s current contract with the World of WearableArt® Awards Show runs until  2021.

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