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Small Events Pay Big Dividends for Capital’s Economy

22 February 2013

Small Events Pay Big Dividends for Capital’s Economy

Small scale, longer season shows are attracting visitors to the capital and contributing ‘big time’ to the local economy, a study by Positively Wellington Venues (PWV) has found.

A review of some of 2012’s performances reveal that smaller shows, such as the Mousetrap, Ben Harper and Mumford and Sons, are bringing in thousands of out of towners, who are spending millions of dollars in the capital.

PWV CEO Glenys Coughlan says it’s well known that big events such as WOW and the Sevens bring big benefits to Wellington, but it’s now clear that the smaller scale, more-than-one-night shows are contributing significantly too.

“A number of last year’s performances, such as our New Zealand exclusive season of the Mousetrap, are punching significantly above their weight when it comes to benefits to the region, and a broad cross section of Wellington businesses are profiting,” she says.

Visitors to Wellington for November’s 12-show Mousetrap season spent over $1.2m in the capitals hotels, restaurants, shops and tourism attractions.

Forty per cent of the Mousetrap’s audience were from out of town, with 46% of them arriving in Wellington by plane and 45% by car. The majority (67%) stayed in commercial accommodation while here with dining out (28%) and shopping (26%) the most popular activities outside of the show.

Ms Coughlan says this type of information is useful when putting together a strong year round calendar of events that will entice Wellingtonians and attract out of towners.

“We took a commercial risk bringing the Mousetrap to Wellington by joint venturing with the promoters, as part of a strategy to illustrate we can successfully host exclusives here in Wellington. Not only was the show a success in terms of audience numbers but we now have an understanding of just how important the season was for local businesses too.”

Other shows that attracted a strong out of town presence included Ben Harper, with 43% of the audience visitors to Wellington and an estimated visitor spend of more than $415,000. Out of towners attending the Black Keys (42%) spent over $600,000 while in the capital and visitors at Mumford and Sons (just over 32% of the crowd) spent over $320,000.

Ms Coughlan says 2013 is set to be another stunning year for events in the capital.

“We’re working hard to put together a very strong year round calendar that will see all of Wellington share in the benefits.”


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