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Lions Fans’ Spending Plans in Auckland

Lions Fans’ Spending Plans in Auckland

Auckland, 30 June 2005 – The tills will be ringing in Auckland restaurants, clubs and bars this weekend according to a survey of British & Irish Lions’ supporters by MasterCard International which found that of the average spend of almost NZ$5000 per supporter, more than half will be on food, drinks and entertainment.

The survey of 228 Lions’ supporters was conducted in the pubs, shops and on the streets of Hamilton on Friday and Saturday 10th-11th June. It also found that the majority of those surveyed had tickets to at least five of the 11 matches, indicating the crowds at Eden Park will be roaring with support for the Lions.

Bob Whiddon, senior vice president and country manager, New Zealand, MasterCard International says the results confirm their expectations. “Media reports have predicted a substantial spend, but we wanted to get the information from those who were actually opening their wallets and using their credit cards. Those surveyed say they’re spending most of their money on drinks, food and entertainment in New Zealand.”

“The 2001 Lions tour in Australia injected NZ$96.5 million into the economy – our survey reaffirms the New Zealand Rugby Union’s economic impact report predicting that the DHL NZ Lions Series will see direct foreign exchange economic benefits of $120 million, with flow-on spending including additional future tourism benefits, of $250 million.”

The visitors have been saving for an average of up to 12 months for this trip and the MasterCard survey indicates that the end of the tour does not signal the end of the trip by British and Irish Lions’ supporters, with more than a third of the supporters staying on for at least another two weeks. Sightseeing, outdoor activities and extreme sports rank high on the list of preferred activities, including bungee jumping and whitewater rafting.

Whiddon says the survey also revealed that a combination of credit cards and cash is the most preferred method of payment, with just under half of visitors’ budgets going on credit cards.

“The results of the MasterCard survey of Lions supporters clearly demonstrate the benefits of credit cards when paying for transport, accommodation and even obtaining foreign currency when away from home.”

“As an official sponsor of the All Blacks, we couldn’t be happier with the economic benefits that the DHL Lions series is bringing to New Zealand.

“The results of the survey confirm what many of us have suspected all along, that the British & Irish Lions’ supporters better known as the ‘Barmy Army’ plan to have a very good time during their stay in New Zealand,” says Whiddon.


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