Bay tourism booming | News | Kawerau

15 November 2016

The coastal Bay of Plenty has retained its position as a top performing region with nearly 40 per cent growth in the last three years. The results are part of the latest tourism spending statistics from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). The region, which encompasses both the Bay of Plenty and Kawerau-Whakatane districts, saw a total visitor spend of $929 million for the year-to-date in September. This is up 5.7 percent ($50 million) compared with the year to September 2015, when $879 million was spent by both international and domestic guests. Tourism Bay of Plenty placed ahead of destinations such as Rotorua ($725 million), Dunedin ($688 million), Nelson-Tasman ($576 million) and Hawke’s Bay ($535 million). New Zealand’s main centres – Auckland ($7.4 billion), Christchurch ($2.2 billion) and Wellington ($2 billion) – retained their top three positions, respectively. The region’s flagship city, Tauranga, brought in the largest proportion of Bay of Plenty’s tourism revenue with $727 million, followed by Whakatane District ($115 million), Western Bay of Plenty District ($80 million) and Kawerau District ($7 million). Bay of Plenty also retained its enviable position as a popular spot for Kiwi holidaymakers with nearly 80 per cent ($730 million) of the total year-to-date spend attributed to the domestic market – an increase of 2.9 per cent compared to the same period last year. International guest spend generated $199 million during the year to September – up 17.7 per cent. The cruise market, which is not counted in these figures, adds a further $39 million to the local economy each year. Tourism Bay of Plenty CEO Kristin Dunne says the New Zealand economy is seeing significant growth as a result of tourism, and the coastal Bay of Plenty is leading the charge, achieving almost 40 per cent growth in the last three years versus the near 30 per cent growth nationally across the same period. “During this time, we have been able to market the region successfully to both New Zealanders and overseas visitors – the domestic market has grown by an average of 12 per cent per annum in the last three years and the international market by 17 per cent per annum in the same time period,” says Kristin. “These results show the impact of the industry working together for a common goal. Our tourism operators and local businesses tell us they are feeling the positive effects of more visitors to the region, and because of increased numbers – particularly international guests – the winter months have been more buoyant.” Monthly expenditure for September took a slight hit across the country, including the Bay of Plenty, which saw visitor spending in the region decrease from $54 million in August to $50 million. However, Kristin says businesses should not be discouraged by this decline, as September is historically the lowest month for tourism spend around the country ahead of the peak summer season. She adds Tourism Bay of Plenty has a number of key strategies in place to ensure the continued development for the region’s economy through our biggest industry. “We’re working more collaboratively with stakeholders in the region, to maximise the opportunities available to us and create new ones.” According to MBIE’s data, the tourism sector has generated nearly $25 billion in spending to the New Zealand economy in the year-to-date, with $10.6 billion from international visitors and $14.3 billion from the domestic market. 

Source: Sun Live