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Louis Vuitton Cup Worth Millions to Manukau

LOUIS VUITTON CUP RACES WORTH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO MANUKAU

The upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup series is expected to bring considerably more than the $47 million dollars which the 1999 series injected into Manukau's economy.

The previous event gave a strong boost to the entire Auckland region and created approximately 1000 jobs in Manukau alone. It was good news for businesses servicing the event including hotels and motels, restaurants, cafes and others in the hospitality industry. Their sales were up 31% that financial year, which is a record.

The 1999 series is estimated to have brought $363 million to the Auckland region, with Manukau receiving approximately 14% of that total.

It was relatively low-key commercially but for this year's series a taskforce has been set up to take advantage of the business and economic opportunities it provides for the city.

The Louis Vuitton challenger series is designed to be a dress rehearsal for the Americas Cup and is a best-of-nine series.

It is being hosted and managed from the Bucklands Beach Yacht Club in Pakuranga. The races begin on 1 October and end in the third week of January, when the winner will be decided. They then become the challenger, which takes on the defender, Team New Zealand, for the Americas Cup.

Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis says the Louis Vuitton is possibly the most significant event the city has ever hosted and a full-scale effort has been made to maximise the impact and to ensure as many spin-offs as possible.

" As a council we are putting a substantial investment into it because we are certain to get a huge return for local businesses, tourist operators, boat companies, retailers and especially the service sector. Certainly we believe the impact will be much bigger than in 1999.

"It'll get massive media coverage. We want Manukau to be considered an "event city" nationally and this is just one of a string of major events we are promoting at the moment. They all help Manukau to be a more interesting and dynamic place, as well as bring jobs and growth."

The other events include the Ellerslie Flower Show in Manurewa, Rally NZ, Howick Santa Parade, Howick Town and Country Garden Safari, Clevedon A & P Show, Auckland Airport Regency Three-Day Equestrian Event, SPIG International Light & Ice Sculpture Festival and the World Cup Showjumping Finals.

Manukau City Council has worked closely with Buckland's Beach Yacht Club, Tourism Auckland, Tourism NZ, Trade NZ and a number of other organisations to maximise the benefits from the event.

Tourism New Zealand is marketing it internationally and that is expected to draw many overseas tourists who will then stay on to visit other parts of the country. The council provided a $40,000 grant to Enterprising Manukau to fund its work on the project.

Enterprising Manukau has had a big role in the project as the business development arm of the Council. Sir Barry says, "Enterprising Manukau is well-placed to ensure that business, tourism and economic opportunities in the short term are optimised and that the long term economic gain during the Cup racing is achieved."

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