Northland increased its Monthly Regional Tourism spend estimates by 5.9% for the year to $941m with the July spend estimated at $58m, up 7.2% on the month to month growth.
The Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTE) released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) today show that Northland like most regions enjoyed a growth in tourism expenditure over the year to July 2016.
Nelson was the fastest growing region, which increased 11 per cent over the year to $302 million, followed by Otago which was up 11 per cent to $3.2 billion and Northland’s neighbouring region Auckland up 7 per cent to $6.7 billion.
A new measure of value of tourism in the regions, MBIE developed the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates in consultation with tourism industry representatives to provide better information on visitors to the regions.
“While this is a new measurement it gives us a better idea of the tourists’ country of origin and a breakdown on how much and what they are spending on in the different regions each month,” says Northland Inc Regional Promotions and Tourism manager Paul Davis.
“This information will help us plan in the Northland tourism industry in sectors such as accommodation, wining and dining options, developing tourism products and other tourism related activities such as products we offer to domestic and international tourists.”
The estimates show that domestic tourists spent $50m while international visitors spent $8m in Northland in July reflecting the need for more shoulder season attractions for the international market.
“We are well aware that we need to do more in the shoulder seasons for international visitors while it would appear that domestic tourists are increasingly looking north during the July school holidays and making the most of their winter breaks,” says Paul.
“Having the Waitangi Museum and other attractions in the Bay of Islands does help as will other products such as the Hundertwasser and Wairau Maori Art Centre in Whangarei; the Manea Footprints of Kupe in the Hokianga; Waitangi Mountain Bike Park; the Waipoua Forest Tourism project; and the Twin Coast Discovery and the associated Pou Trail projects.
“We look forward to having more visitors during the shoulder seasons as those projects are completed.”