Tourism important to our region

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tourism is vital for regions such as Selwyn with over half of expenditure by international visitors occurring outside New Zealand’s three main cities. Tourism now contributes $10.6 billion to the economy – 5 per cent of GDP.

A new online one-stop-shop for tourism data will help Selwyn take advantage of unprecedented growth in the tourism industry.

Knowing where visitors come from and what they’re spending money on is going to be very useful to local businesses – both new and established.

The New Zealand Tourism Dashboard will allow businesses to see how we are doing locally, where visitors are staying, and what they are spending money on. The data is extensive and very easy to use. It means businesses will be able to identify trends, target certain markets and ready themselves for visitors.

For example, a search on the dashboard reveals that almost half (45.9%) of guest nights in Selwyn during 2015 were from Australia, with the second most common source of visitors being Europe (excluding the UK and Germany which are identified separately).

Given the importance of visitors from Australia, the recent announcement by Qantas that it will expand its summer service between Christchurch and Brisbane to make it a year-round service is more good news for our local businesses.

Christchurch Airport has experienced a record-breaking summer, with a 16% increase in passenger numbers. This growth is a result of increased and new services from existing and new airline partners, bringing about 50,000 more visitors and $150 million new GDP into the South Island.

With over three million people visiting New Zealand in 2015, 10 per cent more than the year before, it is vital that tourism-based businesses in Selwyn are well positioned to make the most of the opportunities for growth.

The New Zealand Tourism Dashboard can be found at: http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/tourism/tourism-research-data/the-new-zealand-tourism-dashboard