Runs on the board for Kiwi tourism

South Waikato News - - NEWS / OPINION -

THE ICC Cricket World Cup has kicked off with New Zealand and Australia jointly host­ing the tour­na­ment. This is the first time New Zealand has hosted the World Cup in 23 years and more than a mil­lion peo­ple are ex­pected to at­tend 49 matches over 44 days. While we’re only a few days into the tour­na­ment, there’s al­ready a sense of ex­cite­ment around Aus­trala­sia with the top 14 crick­et­ing na­tions in the world com­pet­ing in 14 host cities across Australia and New Zealand.

I’ll be fol­low­ing the games tak­ing place with close in­ter­est and was for­tu­nate to catch Zim­babwe ver­sus South Africa just up the road in Hamil­ton on Sun­day. Tour­na­ment or­gan­is­ers have done a great job in keep­ing games af­ford­able for Ki­wis, with ticket prices start­ing at $5 for chil­dren and $20 for adults.

The tour­na­ment is not only great for cricket fans. It also pro­vides a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to show­case New Zealand to the world, with the global tele­vi­sion au­di­ence ex­pected to ex­ceed one bil­lion peo­ple.

Tourism is our sec­ond big­gest ex­port earner. It di­rectly em­ploys 4.7 per cent of the New Zealand work­force, and in­di­rectly em­ploys an­other 3.6 per cent. Around $8.3 bil­lion was added to our GDP thanks to tourism in the past year.

While we don’t have any Cricket World Cup games here in the South Waikato, the tour­na­ment is a chance to build on our tourism in­dus­try and show the world what we’ve got to of­fer.

It is es­ti­mated more than $ 40 mil­lion will be spent by an an­tic­i­pated 30,000 vis­i­tors to New Zealand at­tend­ing the Cricket World Cup over the next two months.

I hope you all wel­come our in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors.

Louise Upston

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