More visitors boost region's spending

Last updated 14:25 12/02/2013

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The improved run of spending continued in Marlborough in January for the fourth consecutive month.

Data from Paymark, which processes about 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, said $52.8 million was spent on their network in Marlborough last month.

This was a 2.3 per cent increase compared with the same time in 2012, when $51.6m was spent.

Electronic spending seems to be increasing in popularity, with more than 990,000 transactions recorded last month, up 3.2 per cent compared with January 2012.

Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said she had received positive feedback from the region's accommodation providers and tour operators.

They were reporting strong visitor numbers, although visitor numbers and their spend data was not available until the end of the month, she said.

"We're seeing a return of some of the traditional markets such as Germany and the United States, which have been very soft in the last few years. "Although we are a long way off the record highs of 2007 and 2008, there seems to be a strengthening in the long haul markets."

Picton waterfront tourist operator Wilderness Guides had noticed a surge in business particularly through the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Co-owner Juliet Gibbons said they have been "hectic" with domestic holiday-makers, and cruise ships, whose passenger numbers sometimes double Picton's population for the day.

"Picton was absolutely awash with visitors over the peak period and it has remained steady throughout January," she said.

"We think Picton and the Marlborough Sounds is enjoying a renaissance as a result of New Zealanders particularly seeking a back-to-basics holiday."

Nationally, the value of transactions through the Paymark network increased by $191m, a year-on-year increase of 5.1 per cent.

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- The Marlborough Express

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