Conferences lift visitor numbers

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 15:12 15/11/2012

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Marlborough commercial accommodation rates increased in September, thanks to four conferences hosted in the region.

The Commercial Accommodation Monitor showed there were 38,223 guest nights spent in commercial accommodation in Marlborough in September, up 10.3 per cent from 34,677 in September last year.

Nationally, guest nights were 2,111,027 in September, down slightly from 2,189,342 in September last year during the Rugby World Cup.

The Commercial Accommodation Monitor is not a representation of all visitors to the region because it excludes visitors in private houses, bed and breakfasts, baches, and apartments.

Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said the Marlborough Convention Bureau had managed to turn initial approaches into confirmed conferences, and the sector was performing well in Marlborough.

Seven of the eight formal bids developed for prospective conferences in the 2011-12 financial year had resulted in Marlborough winning the conference, she said.

"This equates to 3950 delegate days for future conferences in the region."

Research showed each conference delegate was worth $400 a day to the region.

Domestic guest numbers totalled 23,923 in September, up 35.9 per cent on the 17,604 guests for the previous September.

This was offset by a fall in international visitor numbers, which were 14,299, down 16.2 per cent compared to 17,073 in September last year.

All accommodation types surveyed - hotels, motels, apartments, backpackers, and holiday parks - enjoyed an increase in custom, particularly holiday parks, up 17.7 per cent.

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- The Marlborough Express

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