Runs on the board for Kiwi tourism
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.