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Summer events attract record visitor numbers to Wellington
Visitors flocked to New Zealand's capital in record numbers this summer, thanks to sustained high temperatures and an exceptional programme of major events.
In the 121 days from 1st November to 29th February, the region hosted over 960,000 commercial guest nights, a growth of more than 8% on the previous summer, which itself grew by 5.6% compared with 2013/14.
This record total continues a strong growth trend for tourism in Wellington.
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency Chief Executive Chris Whelan said the results demonstrated the impact of a successful major events programme.
Whelan stated “the single biggest driver of visitation to Wellington this summer was the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which brought an estimated 45,000 thousand people to the region.
“Add to that a series of big concerts, sporting events, Chinese New Year and Te Papa’s popular Dreamworks: The Exhibition and we had the foundation for a strong summer season.”
Whelan also said the results were helped by a coordinated approach to promotion, adding “once upon a time Wellington’s visitor economy slowed down over summer, as business travel slowed and people tended to head to the beach. In recent years, we’ve focused on promoting our major events and exhibitions, packaging a ‘whole of Wellington’ destination experience around them.
“With such variety throughout the region, and exceptional walkability for event attendees in the city, Wellington delivers on this promise, and we’re seeing positive numbers as a result.”
Westpac Stadium Chief Executive Shane Harmon was pleased that events held at the Stadium had contributed around 100,000 of these visitors to the region over the summer period.
Harmon commented “the Stadium was proud to host such a full and diverse calendar of events this summer.
“The two world-class concerts - Elton John and AC/DC, international cricket and the Edinburgh Tattoo were real drawcards for out of town visitors and Wellingtonians alike.
“It really was a blockbuster summer.”
Major events in Wellington over summer 2015/16 that drove significant visitation included:
Elton John - Westpac Stadium
AC/DC - Westpac Stadium
Wellington Sevens - Westpac Stadium
BLACKCAPS v Australia ODI - Westpac Stadium and Test match - Basin Reserve
The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo - Westpac Stadium
New Zealand Festival - various venues
Images: Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (top - courtesy of Bradley Garner/WRST) and the New Zealand Festival (below).
24th February 2016 - EDINBURGH ROYAL MILITARY TATTOO BECOMES WELLINGTON’S MOST POPULAR SHOW EVER
16th October 2015 - MAXIMISING THE POTENTIAL OF NEW ZEALAND DOMESTIC TOURISM
24th September 2015 - NEW WELLINGTON AGENCY AIMS TO BOOST CITY’S PROSPERITY
30th August 2015 - HUGE SUMMER OF INTERNATIONAL CRICKET FOR WELLINGTON
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