Economic benefit "pleasing"
27 April 2012
Cycling event brings economic benefit
An economic impact assessment carried out by APR consultants has found that the 500 cyclists who stayed for 2 nights in February spent more than $54,000 in Whakatane. That represents a return of $9 for every dollar spent by the Whakatane District Council on bringing the event to Whakatane.
Whakatane District Council Event Manager Mike van der Boom says the return was pleasing, but probably understated. “The exit survey carried out on the last night of the visitors’ stay was filled in by 136 people. I suspect that most of the people who stayed in motels were not present at the final dinner at Rugby Park and they were likely to have spent more than other visitors. We also had appalling weather, which may have kept people away from the many outdoor activities we have on offer.”
Mr Van der Boom believes that attracting these types of events at a time of year when visitor numbers have fallen from their peak during school holidays will benefit the district’s economy. The assessment showed that on average the visitors spent $27 per person on food and beverages, $26 on retail and $23 on entertainment and sightseeing.
“Anecdotal reviews showed many retailers had a great time, especially those selling wet weather gear,” he says. “The economic impact estimated in the report does not include the positive exposure for the district as a result of the event. Over time, this long-term marketing exposure could potentially generate a sizeable return in increased visitor numbers and expenditure.”
Mr Van der Boom believes the people of Whakatane were tremendous hosts and there were many stories of local people really looking after the visitors, many of whom were Australians. The survey rates friendly people and atmosphere as the best features of the event. One person took a group of Australians for a trip on his boat then washed and dried all their clothes before returning them to their camp site at Rugby Park.
For further information, contact:
Mike van der Boom