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Semi-finals weekend injects extra $4.4 million

Semi-finals weekend injects extra $4.4 million in tourist spending

As French and Kiwi fans celebrated victory, and Welsh and Australian supporters languished over their teams’ defeats during semi-finals weekend, foreign card spending through Paymark’s network rose 36.1 per cent, or $4.4 million compared to the same three days last year (Fri-Sun).

As host of both games, Auckland predictably reaped the biggest rewards of the semi-final double-header with spending via foreign cards in the Auckland region up 69.6 per cent.

Across all cardholders, spending (excluding fuel) in the Auckland region was up 5.2 per cent between Friday and Sunday.

Hospitality providers were clear winners, with an 18.5 per cent, or $2.7 million boost across the weekend with peaks coming pre and post games.

Auckland clothing stores also fared well over the semi-finals weekend – up 12.1 per cent – a higher growth rate than has been seen in recent weeks. However car rentals were down 2.8 per cent, suggesting that with the final also being played in Auckland, touring has tapered off, for now.

Paymark Head of Sales and Marketing, Paul Whiston, says that although the Auckland region predictably gained the most from Rugby World Cup related spending during the semi-finals weekend, there were also lifts south of the City of Sails over the weekend.

“The increased hospitality spending in the Auckland region is no doubt due to the World Cup. But hospitality spending – and spending in general – also increased in the Bay of Plenty, Nelson and Otago, activity more likely linked to the delayed school holidays.

“Total spending (excluding fuel) in these three regions increased over the weekend by 7.3 per cent, 4.0 per cent and 6.4 per cent respectively.

“Closer to Auckland, the Waikato region appears to have catered for an overflow of tourists during the weekend, with higher hospitality spending and a 52.6 per cent increase in foreign card spending,” says Paul Whiston.

Nationwide the combined total of car rental, accommodation and hospitality spending through Paymark was up 8.9 per cent over the three days, slightly higher than the 8.1 per cent average for the Cup to date. Again, this group total was dominated by hospitality, with spending at pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants up 11.3 per cent (compared to the same three days in 2010) or $3.8 million.

Paul Whiston says that while many teams are now out of the tournament, a strong tourist presence is still evident.

“Spending over the weekend pushed total foreign card spending through Paymark’s network from the beginning of the Cup to 16 October, to $212.5 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 37.4 per cent, or $57.8 million.

“Let’s hope that after the final game has been played, our overseas guests opt to stay on and venture outside the main metropolitan centres,” concludes Paul Whiston.


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