Northland is unquestionably making its mark as a visitor destination alongside other leading destinations such as Auckland and Queenstown.David Wilson — Chief Executive Officer, Northland Inc.
Visitors streamed into Northland in record numbers in November, with the region recording the second highest volume growth for guest nights in the country and double the national growth rate.
The most recent monthly guest night results (16 February 2017) from Statistics New Zealand show Northland recorded a growth rate in November of 11.8 percent, compared with the national average growth rate of 5.1 percent.
“This is a sensational result,” said David Wilson, chief executive of Northland’s regional development and tourism agency Northland Inc.
“It tells us Northland is unquestionably making its mark as a visitor destination alongside other leading destinations such as Auckland and Queenstown.
It also underscores that destination marketing, the professionalism of our operators, and the reputation of Northland as a great place to visit with arguably the best weather in the country, are impacting positively on people’s travel decisions“.
Mr Wilson said new and popular initiatives including the Twin Coast Discovery, Twin Coast Cycle Trail and the new Waitangi Mountain Bike Park are fast becoming drawcards in their own right.
“We are focused on doing all we can to continue this growth rate, and the development of Byway Journeys around Northland that encourage visitors to slow down and see more is a central plank in that strategy.”
Northland’s annual growth rate as at year end November 2016 is now 6.1%, against the national average 6.5%.
“For a while we have been behind by a few percentage points but we are gaining ground – even catching up to fast-growing regions.”
Mr Wilson says the good news for Northland continued with data also showing that Whangarei recorded over half (8,260) of the extra nights of November’s total of 16,000.
“This is significant because Whangarei is seen as the business hub of the north and we know that the longer people stay in Whangarei, the more likely they are to explore other parts of the region.”
Mr Wilson said growth rates across the individual territories for November were all promising and contributed to the bigger picture, with monthly growth rates of 6.8 percent in the far north, 26.9 percent in Whangarei, and 12.6 percent in Kaipara.