Trav­ellers tired of the main­stream?

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN

Queen­stown still re­ceives the ‘‘lion’s share’’ of tourists, but statis­tics sug­gest trav­ellers are look­ing for more ‘‘au­then­tic’’ ex­pe­ri­ences.

Mar­ketview’s lat­est tourism re­port shows spend­ing in main­stream tourist lo­ca­tions like Queen­stown grew by 83.2 per cent over the past three years to June, but spend­ing in re­gional lo­ca­tions jumped 165.5 per cent.

Tourists from ‘‘new mar­kets’’ like China, In­dia, In­done­sia, Ar­gentina and Brazil had jumped by 80 per cent in the last three years, the re­port showed.

Mar­ketview manag­ing direc­tor Steven Bri­dle said more in­de­pen­dent trav­ellers hit­ting New Zealand shores wanted ex­pe­ri­ences off the ‘‘beaten tourist trails’’.

Ex­pe­ri­ences orig­i­nally set up and aimed pri­mar­ily at New Zealan­ders like the Otago Cen­tral Rail trail, fish­ing and wine tours, were now catch­ing the at­ten­tion of over­seas visi­tors, Bri­dle said.

Des­ti­na­tion Queen­stown chief ex­ec­u­tive Graham Budd said visi­tors want­ing unique ex­pe­ri­ences was ‘‘pos­i­tive’’ for Queen­stown.

‘‘The magic of Queen­stown is that there are ex­pe­ri­ences for all visi­tors,’’ Budd said.

‘‘It’s no new trend for visi­tors to seek out unique ex­pe­ri­ences.’’

About 67 per cent of Queen­stown visi­tors are over­seas visi­tors.

Statis­tics show trav­ellers want more than just a main­stream cruise on the TSS Earnslaw.

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