Strong international spend is a heartening sign for post-quake tourism figures, Destination Marlborough says.
The latest figures from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show tourism spend for Marlborough is estimated to be about $368 million for the year to March 2017, up 1 per cent on the previous 12 months.
International visitors spent $138 million, up 7 per cent compared with the year to March 2016, while domestic tourists spent $230m, down 2 per cent, in that period.
Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said the March estimates were a good sign for the region’s visitor economy. Confirmed figures would be released later in the year.
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“It’s really reassuring to see that we’ve managed to retain international spend,” Johnston said.
“We have to acknowledge that the severing of State Highway 1 will have an impact on domestic spend.
“The reality is that there will be an impact, but I think Marlborough has done incredibly well to retain the level of domestic spend that we have.”
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Ministry manager of sector trends David Paterson said tourism spend in month-on-month comparisons was down 8 per cent compared with the month of March 2016.
”Tourism spend information for the regions helps inform investment and planning in the tourism industry by providing insight into where both domestic and international tourists are spending their money,” he said.
Destination Marlborough named Jacqui Lloyd as the new general manager of the not-for-profit trust in April.
The trust had been on the hunt for a replacement since Johnston announced her resignation after eight years in the top job in January.
Lloyd was scheduled to begin at Destination Marlborough on June 6 with Johnston to stay on as the general manager until then.