Cycling champs bring cash to region

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 15:34 15/01/2013

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The UCI Juniors Track World Championships held in August last year generated more than $2 million in total for Southland's economy.

A Venture Southland Economic Impact report calculated the average amount of money spent per day and the average time of stay in the region for both domestic and international visitors.
The report shows the championships held in Invercargill, made a direct contribution of about $1.6m to the region's economy.

However, when the amount spent by "industry multipliers" such as international cycling federations was added, the contribution increased to $2.4m.

Enterprise and Strategic Projects group manager Steve Canny said this included support costs already paid for participants before they arrived.

Spectators, participants and officials were surveyed on what they had spent each day, during the week long event.

The report shows on average officials spent $196, event participants spent $177 and spectators spent $157 per day during their stay.

Mr Canny said it was not possible to break down the figures into exact expenses because questionnaires only asked for an overall average spend each day.

The survey also examined the likelihood of visitors returning to the region or country as a tourist and event information, facility and their overall ratings of the region.

Mr Canny said said hosting high profile events created significant international exposure for Southland.

The report shows the majority of respondents said they would not have travelled to Southland during August if the event was not on.

While most visitors were in the region primarily for the cycling event, almost 70 per cent of international visitors undertook some form of sightseeing during their stay in Invercargill, he said.

The report shows Bluff was the most popular place to visit, with 53 per cent of international and 40 per cent of domestic travellers going there.

''The reality is the longer people stay in the region, the better off it will be. Visitors can see why Southland is special and consider returning,'' he said.

About 35 per cent of international visitors and 21 per cent of domestic travellers also visited other parts of New Zealand.

About 66 per cent of domestic visitors and 53 per cent of international visitors said they would return to Southland and New Zealand in the future.

The report showed more than 40 per cent domestic visitors stayed for six nights in Southland, with the majority staying between 7 and 12 nights in the region.

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- The Southland Times

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