Wednesday, 5 October 2016

NEW ZEALAND: WanakaThe Leader In New Zealand,

Dunedin's winter tourism push may be bearing fruit, with a strong rise in tourism expenditure for August.

Wanaka was again the leader in New Zealand, with its 16.3% annual increase continuing strong expenditure growth.

Those increases helped Otago to become the second fastest growing tourism region after Nelson, which topped the list at 11.7%.

Otago’s tourism expenditure for the year to August was up 9.6% to $3.2 billion.

The figures are the latest from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s monthly regional tourism estimates.

Dunedin’s figures for August showed $45 million was spent in the city, a 13.2% increase on the same month last year.

Enterprise Dunedin joined local tourism operators, Air New Zealand, TripAdvisor and others to create the Where the Wild Things Are campaign earlier this year, promoting Dunedin to the Australian and domestic visitor market as a destination during winter.

Enterprise Dunedin director John Christie said the increase was what could be expected considering the national increase in tourism, and the work the city had done.

The push in the Australian market "we know anecdotally is having an effect".

"We are definitely aware of the fact that people from Australia are coming here."

Mr Christie said that had been noticeable at the iSITE centre in Dunedin.

People arriving at the centre had mentioned the campaign.

"You don’t normally get that direct feedback."

Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore said the area had been tracking at between 18% and 20% through summer.

Winter was already a strong season so it was hard to maintain that level of growth.

Mr Helmore said Wanaka had experienced both an increase in numbers, and an increase in the value of tourists’ spending.

Clutha was the only district in Otago showing an annual drop in tourism expenditure, with a 0.4% decrease.