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Tourism funding increase positive for the region

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is set to receive an injection of funding from its local government partners to further boost tourism in the region.

From July 2015 the local regional tourism organisation (RTO) which is tasked with marketing the Waikato tourism attractions to domestic and international visitors, will receive $1,215,000 annually from the seven councils (Hamilton City, Waikato, Waipa, Matamata Piako, Waitomo, Otorohanga and South Waikato Districts), an increase from $810,000.

Hamilton and Waikato Tourism CEO Kiri Goulter commends the decision and says all parties involved are pleased with the outcome. “The result is testament to the commitment of the city and region to tourism, which currently brings in $1b of visitor expenditure each year – the fifth highest in New Zealand.”

The RTO, which was created in July 2011, operates on a public/private partnership model with the industry contributing over $400,000, alongside the region’s councils each year, to marketing activities which benefit not only their businesses but the wider region.

As a key economic driver for the region, the Waikato tourism industry generates 6 million visitor nights each year and creates over 7,700 full-time jobs.

Although successful marketing campaigns to international and domestic markets over the last four years have positioned the region in a very positive light, Ms Goulter says there is plenty more to be achieved.

“The city and region has an exciting future ahead with iconic attractions such as Waitomo, Hobbiton Movie Set, Raglan and Hamilton Gardens as well as emerging new products and developments including Hamilton city’s river plan, high performance sport, cycleways and developing Hamilton as a business events hub”.

Receiving the increased funding will allow us to increase our domestic marketing and business events activities as well as broaden our scope into destination management, in turn creating great economic benefit for our communities,” she says.


Contact: Kiri Goulter

Phone: 07 843 0056

Email: kiri@hamiltonwaiakato.com

Regional Tourism Indicators May 2015

Monday, June 29th, 2015

The latest Regional Tourism Indicators for May 15:

The latest Regional Tourism for May 2015 show international expenditure in the region sits at an index of 98, an increase of 17 points on May 2014 and higher than the national average of 74.

Domestic expenditure in the region for May 2015 sits at an index of 96, an decrease of 3 points on May 2014 and lower than the national average of 104.

Read More

The regional tourism indicators (RTI) measure the change in level of expenditure of both international and domestic travellers in New Zealand by region.

The data is based on electronic card transactions.

On the cusp of 3 million

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Visitor arrivals increased 7% to 2.98 million in the year ending May 2015, almost breaking the 3 million annual milestone.

Arrivals from China in YE May 2015 were 309,800, up +29.3% on the previous year. TIA Policy & Insight Specialist Steve Riley says a highlight is the increase out of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, collectively making up around 70% of the growth out of Asia. He says it is also encouraging to see the strong growth out of India, up 28.8% to 42,880. Read more.

Expenditure data supports strong arrival trends

The positive international arrivals results are reflected in the latest visitor expenditure data which has continued an upward trend since December 2013.

International visitor spending in May 2015 was greater than in May 2014 with most Regional Tourism Organisations showing strong growth, in particular Rotorua, where May spending was up 43% on May 2014. Read More


Source: TIA Newsletter


Economic Strategy Implementation Governance Group Names

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

A high class team of Waikato business and political leaders has been appointed to oversee the implementation of a ground-breaking economic development strategy prepared under the auspices of the Waikato Mayoral Forum.

The governance group for Waikato Means Business includes Stainless Design chairman John Cook (chair), Federation of Maori Authorities chair Traci Houpapa, Waikato Tainui CEO Parekawhia McLean (deputy chair), and Hamilton and Waikato Tourism director Don Scarlet, who all helped develop the plan. They have been joined on the project’s governance group for the implementation phase by Wintec CEO Mark Flowers, Fonterra director Michael Spaans, Gallagher corporate services executive Margaret Comer and Enterprise Great Lake Taupo board member Tom Findlay.

Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker and Waikato Regional Council policy and strategy committee chair Bob Simcock are the other members.

The new group was discussed at today’s mayoral forum meeting in Hamilton.

“This is a great team of leaders to take us through the next phase of implementing this important strategy,” said forum chair Allan Sanson, the mayor of Waikato district.

The first meeting of the newly constituted governance group is due next month. It will be briefed on implementation actions already underway and consider some potential high level actions for the next phase of work.

The implementation plan for the strategy has identified seven actions:

• Developing the Ruakura Hub inland port
• Completing the Waikato Expressway
• Creating a new Waikato Plan for the region
• Undertaking a study of constraints on growth and future investment opportunities
• Improving the supply of and demand for skilled labour
• Reducing local government red tape for business
• Creating a better Waikato marketing “story” to help facilitate growth

The Ruakura Hub proposal is under ongoing development, while funding for the entire expressway has now been confirmed by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The development of a Waikato Spatial Plan, a 30 year vision for the region, is being carried out under the guidance of a joint committee made up of representatives of councils from across the Waikato, with private sector input.

A number of workshops have been held across the Waikato to take in views on the story the region should tell about itself for marketing purposes. The story’s development, being paid for by the regional council, is expected to be completed mid-year.

A strategy looking at the supply of and demand for labour has been completed by a public and private sector steering group and details are expected to be announced shortly.

A number of councils have begun working together on how they can reduce red tape for business wanting to set up or expand in the Waikato.

The forum is also awaiting the outcome of an approach to central Government for support in the development of a detailed study on how to further drive growth in the region. Such studies have been undertaken in a number of other North Island regions in recent years.

The current implementation plan work is being funded by existing private and public sector commitments. Recently, Waikato Regional Council gave approval in principle to funding $350,000 a year for the next ten years for the implementation of Waikato Means Business. The council’s funding plan is subject to sign off at the end of June.

Mr Sanson said the developments were a strong sign of the collaborative approach being taken by a range of parties to boosting the Waikato region’s prosperity.

“It’s essential that we maintain our co-operation and make progress across a range of fronts to make our region as successful as it can be.”
Meanwhile, the forum was briefed on a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment proposal to work with councils to help them standardize local council building consenting processes. There was potential for Waikato councils to be involved in a programme to look at this with a view to increasing efficiency and cutting costs, the forum heard.

“There is a general need to reduce costs and consenting decision times, and to increase standardisation, for the benefit of all. So participation in this programme, once details are finalised, could be worthwhile,” said South Waikato District Council CEO Craig Hobbs, from the forum’s regulatory, bylaws and policy workstream.

Information on the implementation plan and the forum’s work is available at www.mpdc.govt.nz/waikatomayoralforum

Media contact:

• Stephen Ward, forum communications advisor, 07 859 0782 or 021 756 310

Commercial Accommodation Monitor April 2015

Monday, June 15th, 2015

The latest Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) Figures for April 2015:

The Hamilton & Waikato region saw an increase in guest nights of 3.9% for the month of April 2015 compared to April 2014. International guest nights rose 25.8% and domestic guest nights fell 2.4%.

For the year ended April 2015 guest nights rose by 6.5%. International guest nights rose 8.7% and domestic guest nights rose 5.9%.

National figures saw an increase of 3.6% month on month with international guest nights increasing 6.7% and domestic guest nights increasing 1.6%.

For more information click here.

From ‘xin xian’ to Weibo – understanding the Chinese FIT visitor

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Understand your visitors’ needs and be ready to capitalise on growing numbers of Chinese travellers to New Zealand as the market is set to provide the best tourism growth opportunity over the coming years.

This was the clear message from last week’s webinar, “Latest Research & Insights: Chinese FIT expectations when visiting New Zealand” – presented by Tourism New Zealand’s Senior Insights Analysts, Lucy Alborn and Bryce Kelliher.

The first in a new series of quarterly Research & Insights webinars, the session provided an overview of the latest research findings on what Chinese Free Independent Travellers (FIT) are looking for in a New Zealand holiday, and offered some insight into how domestic operators can make the most of the increasing number of Chinese visitor arrivals.

With total visitor arrivals expected to reach 600,000 in 2021 (an increase of 116 per cent over the next seven years), there seems to be no end to the market’s growth.

The main underlying driver for this increase is due to a growing Chinese middle class with a desire to travel – and a willingness to pay a premium for quality goods, services and experiences.

Bryce pointed out that a growing middle class had already emerged and what we will see is a “shift to the majority of urban China households moving into the upper middle class, underpinning future consumption, including travel.”

The current Youth sector, now in their teens and twenties, will make up a large proportion of the FIT segment in future.

Statistics shown in the webinar pointed clearly towards clear growth of the FIT segment – in the year ending March 2014, Independent Holiday Visitors made up 20 per cent of total Chinese visitors. The same time one year later, the same group made up 27 per cent, a significant increase in independent travellers.

Not only are we seeing more FIT travellers in 2015, those considering a holiday to New Zealand are wanting to escape the constraints of organised tours – with Tourism New Zealand research showing that FITs dominate the China Active Considerer market, particularly among younger age groups (aged 30-49).

They see New Zealand as a place to flee the pollution of the city and their hectic lives, and are looking for a pure and clean escape. They have high expectations for clean scenery and unique experiences.

Based on the findings from Tourism New Zealand’s Active Considerer research, Lucy made some suggestions for tourism operators to best capitalise on Chinese FIT travellers.

“Offer immersive experiences and perhaps most importantly, work with the premise of ‘xin xian’ in mind – where food is seen in its natural state, caught at the source, and the visitor is involved in the process of sourcing, preparing and cooking it.”

Social media was another important element when attracting Chinese visitors, who are avid social networkers.

“People go where people post, it’s that simple”, said Lucy.

For more information click here

Regional Tourism Indicators April 2015

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The latest Regional Tourism Indicators for April 15:

The latest Regional Tourism for April 2015 show international expenditure in the region sits at an index of 133, an increase of 19 points on April 2014 and higher than the national average of 102.

Domestic expenditure in the region for April 2015 sits at an index of 99, an increase of 5 points on April 2014 and lower than the national average of 117.

Read More

The regional tourism indicators (RTI) measure the change in level of expenditure of both international and domestic travellers in New Zealand by region.

The data is based on electronic card transactions.

Tourism Industry Awards – entries open

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Entries are now open for the new, expanded New Zealand Tourism Industry Awards programme.

There are awards for individuals, businesses of all sizes and agencies that support tourism to achieve its goals.

Celebrate our industry’s winners and gain some positive PR for you and your operation. Visit the awards website for more information.

These new-look Tourism Industry Awards will celebrate individual and business success across our dynamic $24 billion industry. They will also provide a benchmark of excellence and inspiration to other tourism businesses.

Fore more information click here

Visitor spend up 21% to $8.2 billion

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Spending by international visitors has surged in the year ending March 2015 with a huge 21% increase to an estimated $8.2 billion compared with the YE March 2014.

The growth was driven by New Zealand’s major tourism markets, with significant increases in total spending by visitors from China, up an estimated 61%, the UK up 39% and Germany up 35%.

Read more

New Zealand Tourism Forecasts 2015-2021

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015

Today, the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment released the New Zealand Tourism Forecasts 2015-2021.

The forecasts provide expectations on the future international tourism demand in New Zealand from key markets as well as emerging markets, India and Indonesia. The forecasts are intended to support the tourism sector and government in decision making and planning.

The tourism sector looks well-positioned to capture opportunities from several markets. Visitor arrivals to New Zealand are expected to grow 4 per cent a year, reaching 3.8 million visitors in 2021 from 2.9 million in 2014. Total international spend is expected to reach $11.1 billion in 2021, up nearly 48.5 per cent on 2014 total spend. Spending in 2015 is expected to surpass the pre-GFC high of $7.6 billion in 2007.

A full report, interactive web tool, one-page summaries and data for each market can be found on the Ministry’s website