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Lions fans help to boost Hawke’s Bay visitor growth

Date 10 August 2017

Lions fans help to boost Hawke’s Bay visitor growth

Statistics New Zealand has released their latest Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) report for June 2017, and Hawke’s Bay is showing an increase in visitor nights of 11.9% for the month and an increase of 11.2% for the year-end June 2017.

The impact of Lion’s fans visiting Hawke’s Bay resulted in a substantial increase in international guest nights + 35.5% on the previous June. Domestic guest nights also rose strongly + 5.7% due to a dedicated winter advertising campaign and events such as Winter F.A.W.C! and good conference business in the region.

This strong growth result highlights the effects of a comprehensive tourism marketing strategy including seasonal advertising campaigns, Hawke’s Bay regional events and leveraging off New Zealand wide events.

The Hawke’s Bay Tourism Winter Ski Campaign which kicked off on the 29th of May running through June and July, featured a full digital campaign complemented by outdoor advertising in key locations. This campaign highlighted Hawke’s Bay’s winter assets with a cheeky twist encouraging domestic travellers to enjoy a winter break or long weekend in Hawke’s Bay.

Hawke’s Bay also hosted the F.A.W.C! Food and Wine Classic Winter Series for five weekends from the 9th of June to the 9th of July, which featured over 60 unique food and wine. This event sees visitors from Auckland, Wellington and other North Island region flock to Hawke’s Bay for outstanding food and wine experiences.

New Zealand-wide events such as the DHL Lions Tour provided opportunity to boost international visitor nights. Although Hawke’s Bay did not host a game we were able to encourage visitors to detour through Hawke’s Bay during their travels around New Zealand. Active promotion of Hawke’s Bay in the Wellington Fanzone paid dividends with noted increase in international visitors.

Annie Dundas, General Manager of Hawke’s Bay Tourism said she was ecstatic with the result. “It is fantastic to see such a positive result, particularly through Hawke’s Bay’s quietest season. It’s particularly good to see that our Seasonal approach to promoting Hawke’s Bay is paying off. And being able to tap into New Zealand-wide events such as the Lions Tour to boost our region is fantastic. Additional funding from the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and great tourism industry support ensures we are promoting the region year round”.

Monthly highlights

In June 2017 compared with June 2016:

· Guest nights rose 11.9 percent to 66,771

· International guest nights rose 35.5 percent to 16,743

· Domestic guest nights rose 5.7 percent to 50,028

· The average length of stay rose from 2.05 nights to 2.21 nights

Year ended highlights

For the year ended June 2017 compared with the previous year:

· Guest nights rose 11.2 percent to 1,206,849
· International guest nights rose 11.1 percent to 333,508

· Domestic guest nights rose 11.2 percent to 873,341

· The average length of stay rose from 2.20 nights to 2.24 nights


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