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Plenty to smile about in the Bay

Media release

18 March, 2014

Plenty to smile about in the Bay

-Bay of Plenty and wider region comes out on top in guest night figures-

Local tourism in the Bay has plenty to smile about with official figures showing the region recorded the largest growth in total guest nights nationwide, according to Statistics New Zealand.

The recently released figures reveal that the Bay of Plenty and Whakatane-Kawerau region recorded a 19% (40,000 nights) growth in guest nights in January 2014 compared with January 2013, representing the largest increase nationwide ahead of Auckland (36,000) and Queenstown (35,000).

The increase in guest nights for the combined regions is due to a 33% rise in international (10,760) and 16% increase in domestic guest nights (28,745).

Guests are also spending more time and money in the Bay, with the average length of stay increasing from 2.97 to 3.55 nights, injecting more than $430 million into the local economy.

Tourism Bay of Plenty General Manager Rhys Arrowsmith says the Bay and wider region has plenty to offer holidaymakers, and it’s great to see the hard work paying off that the tourism industry tirelessly puts in.

“We’re thrilled to see such positive results that are testament in part to Tourism Bay of Plenty’s new integrated marketing approach, including the first television commercials in a decade, paired with press advertising, PR and online marketing. The ‘Plenty for Everyone’ marketing effort has proved a good investment return for the region.”

“There is no doubt that we live in one of the most picturesque areas in New Zealand, making it easy to promote to the world with the variety of experiences on offer,” says Mr Arrowsmith.

In addition, key attractions in the region are showing strong visitation growth with a 22% year-on-year increase to monitored attractions such as White Island tours, Comvita, Waimarino, Classic Flyers, Blokart, Spring Loaded Adventures and Kiwi 360.

Along with the positive guest night results, two recent polls have tipped Bay beaches as New Zealand’s and the South Pacific’s most-loved.

Ohope in Whakatane has taken the top title of New Zealand’s favourite beach in a recent AA Facebook poll and, internationally, TripAdvisor has today announced that Maunganui Beach has been voted #1 for New Zealand, and #4 in the South Pacific in their Travellers’ Choice awards for beaches.

In its second year, the awards recognise more than 322 beaches globally, including top lists for New Zealand, Australia, the South Pacific, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, and the U.S.

ENDS

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