World Cup not a bo­nanza

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

De­spite the pre- event hype, vis­i­tor num­bers ac­tu­ally fell dur­ing the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

That is Welling­ton hote­lier Chris Parkin’s view and Statis­tics New Zealand’s anal­y­sis bears it out.

‘‘In­stead of pro­duc­ing a bumper year it pro­duced a pretty av­er­age year be­cause the rel­a­tively small gains from matches in Welling­ton were in part af­fected by nor­mal busi­ness stay­ing away in droves,’’ he said.

Mr Parkin owns the Mu­seum Ho­tel and he said would-be trav­ellers from New Zealand as­sumed there would be no ac­com­mo­da­tion avail­able.

The cup at­tracted about 100,000 vis­i­tors to New Zealand dur­ing the world cup month.

‘‘ A 100,000 vis­i­tors sounds quite im­pres­sive but if you even out our an­nual vis­i­tor count, it’s not far short of 200,000 in a month.

‘‘So what we are talk­ing about is half of one month’s travel,’’ Mr Parkin said.

Statis­tics New Zealand fig­ures sup­port Mr Parkin’s im­pres­sion. They show rises in in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors were off­set by falls in domestic guest nights, re­sult­ing in a net gain of 0.3 per cent for Septem­ber and a fall of 1.5 per cent for Oc­to­ber com­pared with the pre­vi­ous year.

Welling­ton City Coun­cil spent $1.8 mil­lion on Fes­ti­val of Car­ni­vale con­tent, fan zone costs, se­cu­rity, tour­na­ment costs and train­ing venue costs, aim­ing to achieve an eco­nomic ben­e­fit of about $45 mil­lion.

It also spent $150,000 of com­mer­cial ratepay­ers’ money on a vil­lage around the Whare­waka and $ 350,000 for a Rugby World Cup sculp­ture by Weta Work­shop, and $350,000 of gen­eral rates on ex­tra street clean­ing and $ 37,000 up­grad­ing New­town Park.

Mr Parkin said there was no dis­pute that the cup was good for the na­tion as a whole, par­tic­u­larly as we won.

‘‘ More than just eco­nom­i­cally, but psy­cho­log­i­cally it was good for New Zealand,’’ he said.

‘‘ I think we are per­haps start­ing to re­cover our con­fi­dence on the world stage.

‘‘We are start­ing to see our­selves do bet­ter than other coun­tries in the world. ‘‘The New Zealand dol­lar is very strong. ‘‘At the end of the day, that’s how the world tends to mea­sure your eco­nomic success.’’

How­ever, there were other events ratepay­ers’ money could be spent on for a bet­ter re­turn, he said.

As far as Welling­ton was con­cerned the best in­vest­ment was the World of Wear­able Arts be­cause it brings vis­i­tors from out­side Welling­ton over a longer pe­riod.

‘‘Events we want to fund are ones that oc­cur an­nu­ally, oc­cur over a longer pe­riod of time and re­sult in a steady flow of vis­i­tors from out­side Welling­ton.’’

Pos­i­tively Welling­ton Tourism chief ex­ec­u­tive David Perks said the agency also spent $194,000 on cup events, mostly aimed at op­ti­mis­ing its eco­nomic ben­e­fits rather than run­ning it.

Pos­i­tively Welling­ton Tourism’s own mon­i­tor­ing of ho­tel guest nights found a in­crease of 6 per cent in Septem­ber 2011 over the pre­vi­ous year fol­lowed by a 2 per cent de­cline in Oc­to­ber.

How­ever, there had been a sig­nif­i­cant shift from domestic trav­ellers to in­ter­na­tional tourists.

He said events im­pacted on dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the lo­cal econ­omy.

The World of Wear­able Arts had a strong im­pact on re­tail, whereas the Rugby World Cup’s im­pact was more gen­eral.

‘‘No sec­tor would have seen a boom time, but ev­ery sec­tor would have seen an in­crease.’’

It was im­por­tant to cul­ti­vate a spread of events across the whole year, he said.

Photo: JIM CHIPP

Dis­ap­pointed: The Rugby World Cup didn’t bring guests to Chris Parkin’s Mu­seum Ho­tel.

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