Rally Puts New Zealand On The Radar Screen
3 September 2001
The international media spotlight will be on Auckland later this month when scores of competitors take part in the Propecia Rally of New Zealand.
Auckland City Councillor Victoria Carter says the rally will put the country on the international radar with the sort of media attention last seen during the America's Cup.
The positive impact on city image and identity that goes with the huge media coverage is enormous, says Victoria Carter. International news organisation, Reuters sends its daily news package to 265 television stations in 90 countries, as well as and a two-and-a-half-hour highlights package which will reach 345 million viewers in 71 countries.
Consultants ErnstYoung conducted a study of the economic impact of the Rally of New Zealand to the Auckland region, and found that 1248 international visitors stayed on average 9.5 days; the event attracted 15,000 domestic visitors; and all up visitors spent $21.2 million in Auckland alone.
Victoria Carter says it is necessary for the council to back events that will stimulate the local economy because “if we don’t grow we will increasingly play second fiddle to cities in Australia.”
"Melbourne spends A$20 million on Formula One, Queensland spends A$8 million on bringing US Champ Car Racing to Brisbane, and Adelaide has committed A$3 million to bring back saloon car racing to the city.”
Auckland City had taken these figures into account and agreed to put in a joint bid with the Manukau City Council and with the assistance of Tourism Auckland to host the September 20 to 23 event, said Victoria Carter.
"The event also touches the hearts of some 124,400 male and 31,200 female participants in motor sport in New Zealand - over 11 per cent of the population - not a bad figure when you consider that 11 per cent of New Zealanders participate in rugby and 7 per cent in yachting.”
Auckland is increasingly being seen as New Zealand's leading event destination. The region's capacity has already been well tested by APEC in 1999, the America's Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race stopover, the ASB Bank Tennis Classic and the Ellerslie Flower Show and will be further enhanced with the staging of the proposed 2003 Arts Festival.