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New Figures Show Waikato Remains A Top Performer For Visitor Spend

Waikato continues to be the fourth hottest spot (behind Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington) in New Zealand for visitors to spend their money, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment.

Visitors spent an estimated $148 million in October bringing the total annual visitor spend across the region to $1.87 billion in the year to 31 October, up 15 per cent on the same period the previous year and 10% up on 2019.pre-pandemic figures.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Chief Executive Nicola Greenwell said Waikato’s fourth place in October’s figures demonstrates the key role the Waikato plays in national tourism as well as the importance of tourism for the region.

“Waikato is a quiet high achiever in both domestic and international expenditure figures – we consistently rank in the top four regions for domestic visitor expenditure and in the top five for international expenditure,” Greenwell said.

The latest monthly estimates included $28.4 million in spending by international visitors (fifth highest spend in the country) and $119.5 million in spending by domestic visitors (third highest in the country).

“These impressive numbers are a testament to our amazing tourism operators, event organisers and, business events venues as well as hospitality providers and wider community businesses that provide services to our visitors while they are here”.

Visitors to the Waikato spend on average $5.1 million per day – that’s $5.1 million more into our communities than we would have if we didn’t have such a vibrant visitor sector”.

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At a district level, Waitomo (up 28 per cent to $101 million), Waipā (up 21 per cent to $216 million) and Ōtorohanga (up 23 per cent to $40 million) saw the largest leaps in visitor spending in the 12 months to October 2023, compared to the same period the year before. Matamata-Piako saw an increase of 19 per cent increase to $194 million, Waikato district 18 per cent to $266 million and Hamilton City a 10% increase to reach $1.05 billion.

The spending statistics released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment are sourced from the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates, which provide estimates of tourism expenditure using tourism electronics card transaction data, tourism satellite account data, and international visitor survey data. The data includes a breakdown of estimated spending nationally and in each of the 31 regions represented by a regional tourism organisation.

More information about the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s website.

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