Palmy becoming a tourist trap
Palmerston North is now New Zealand’s 10th largest tourist destination.
According to Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment figures, annual visitor spending in the city for the year ending March 2015 was up 13 per cent on the previous year to $428 million.
Based on the number of visitors (including international tourists) spend, the increase is higher than the national average of 11 per cent, indicating the city is now recovering from the loss of trans-Tasman flights in 2008 when Freedom Air was wound up.
Mayor Grant Smith says visitor
‘‘The decision by Originair and Jetstar to include Palmerston North ... can only boost our visitor spending.’’
Mayor Grant Smith
spending has overtaken Nelson and Hastings in the past 12 months, and is rapidly closing in on Taupo. ‘‘The decision by Originair and Jetstar to include Palmerston North in their schedules can only boost our visitor spending.’’
The city’s strength is in domestic tourism, where it is now ranked 7th nationwide in terms of spending compared with 11th four years ago. Visitors from Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington were the strongest contributors.
Destination Manawatu’s Lance Bickford, says Palmerston North is taking better advantage of its central location, and a campaign to entice drivers on state highways 1, 2 and 3 to stop off and explore Manawatu’s recreational and leisure opportunities has been successful.