Wanaka leads tourism growth

Tourism expenditure grew in every New Zealand region  during the year to October 2016 and Otago was one of the  fastest-growing regions —  led by Wanaka.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment data released yesterday revealed Otago was the  second-fastest-growing region in New Zealand, up 14% to $3.4 billion.

The  fastest-growing region was Nelson, which increased 16% over the year to $334 million.

Lake Wanaka was the region in Otago with the largest year-to-year growth.

Bay of Plenty was the third  fastest-growing region, up 10% to $1.7 billion.

The $440 million spend in Lake Wanaka for the year ending October 2016 was 18.8% more than the year ending October 2015.

The smallest year-to-year growth was in Clutha, where the $61 million spend equated to a 2.3% increase in tourism expenditure.

Associate Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett said the recent MBIE Tourism Insight Series report revealed all regions had benefited from the strong growth in tourism  during the past three years.

Shoulder seasons had become more popular with tourists, she said.

The spending figures affirmedthe Government’s tourism strategy of spreading tourism growth around the regions was working, she said.

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