Tourists spend $70m in Clutha

Clutha Leader - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTER

Tourists spent $3.8 bil­lion in Otago in the year to April, up an im­pres­sive 12 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year.

Queen­stown-Lakes District ac­counted for the lion’s share of the spend, at $2.8 bil­lion.

Close to $750m was spent in Dunedin City, $197m in Cen­tral Otago, $178m in Waitaki and $70m in Clutha.

The fig­ures were con­tained in the lat­est monthly re­gional tourism es­ti­mates re­leased by the Min­istry of Busi­ness, In­no­va­tion and Em­ploy­ment.

The data showed that tourism ex­pen­di­ture grew in all re­gions over the year.

MBIE sec­tor trends man­ager Mark Gor­don said the re­gion with the fastest-grow­ing tourism spend was Can­ter­bury (up 12.3 per cent to $3.8 bil­lion), fol­lowed by Gis­borne (up 12.1 per cent to $152 mil­lion) and Otago (up 12 per cent to $3.8 bil­lion).

‘‘All re­gions in New Zealand ex­pe­ri­enced strong growth in tourism spend­ing over the year, driven by in­creases in both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional spend.

‘‘Kaik­oura tourism spend­ing has also shown strong signs of re­cov­ery, with monthly spend­ing up 85 per cent in April 2018 com­pared to April 2017.

The es­ti­mates show that the spend­ing reached $93m, re­cov­er­ing to nearly 80 per cent of pre-earth­quake spend­ing ($118m in the April 2016 year),’’ Gor­don said.

‘‘Im­proved tourism spend­ing for the re­gions helps the tourism in­dus­try plan strate­gi­cally by pro­vid­ing in­sight into where do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional tourists are spend­ing their money.

‘‘We en­cour­age the in­dus­try to use the in­for­ma­tion in their plan­ning so we can con­tinue to pro­vide vis­i­tors to New Zealand with high-qual­ity ex­pe­ri­ences.’’

The na­tional tourism take for the year to April was $28.5 bil­lion, up nine per cent on the pre­vi­ous 12 month pe­riod.

By far the largest part of the spend was by New Zealand do­mes­tic tourists, who forked out $16.8 bil­lion.

ROBYN EDIE/STUFF

Do­mes­tic tourists, like these mem­bers of the Marl­bor­ough Car­a­van Club on a tour of the Catlins, were big con­trib­u­tors to the tourism spend.

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