New Zealand Rugby World Cup Boosts Tourist Spending

15 February 2012 - Which Way to Pay

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New Zealand Rugby World Cup Boosts Tourist Spending

According to a report by the Ministry of Economic Development, the Rugby World Cup boosted tourist spending in New Zealand as people visiting the country for the tournament spent about $390 million. The survey showed that the impact of the World Cup on tourism had been much stronger than what was predicted. Overall spending by international visitors for 2011 was up $168 million to $5.8 billion but this figure was below the peaks of $6.1 billion in 2007 and 2009. Peter Ellis, the Ministry’s tourism research and evaluation manager said, “If it weren’t for the World Cup there would have been a decline in expenditure over those two years.” He added, “It would have been a pretty grim 2011 for tourism without the Rugby World Cup.”

According to the Tourism Industry Association (TIA), international visitors increased for 2011 by 3 % as figures showed 2.601 million people visited the country. TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar said that, “Given the challenging trading conditions for tourism businesses in 2011, the increase in visitor arrivals and expenditure is a good result for the industry.” Mr Cossar did say that more needs to be done so New Zealand can increase its share of higher-spending holidaymakers. “Rugby World Cup aside, 2011, was a challenging year for many tourism operators. However, the growth in visitor arrivals and visitor expenditure allows for some guarded optimism for the year ahead,” said Mr Cossar.

Retail sales grew more than expect in the last quarter of 2011, helped by spending during the Rugby World Cup, but the data did not change the anticipation that interest rates will stay low considering an uncertain global economy. Sales volumes rose 2.2% in the last three months of last year, showing a 0.8 % rise. That figure followed a rise of 2.4 % in the previous three months, the biggest gain in nearly five years, thanks to spending during the World Cup. However, the boost has been accepted as a one-off and not a major turning point for New Zealand’s Economy, which has recently suffered thanks to high unemployment and a lack of consumer confidence.

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Related Links:
• Ministry of Economic Development
Rugby World Cup visitors spent $390 million
• Tourism Industry Association
Visitor arrivals and expenditure increase in 2011
• Economic Calendar
The Calendar shows scheduled economic events

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