Hosting the America's Cup would bring profile and visitors to New Zealand

Emirates Team New Zealand have not announced where the next America's Cup will be held yet.
MIKE SEGAR/REUTERS

Emirates Team New Zealand have not announced where the next America's Cup will be held yet.

Imagine another 50 superyachts sailing into New Zealand, each bringing about $5 million in economic benefits to the country.

That $250m-plus boost would be just the start of the magnitude hosting an America's Cup event could have.

Emirates Team New Zealand benefactor Stephen Tindall has let slip he was "looking forward to racing in Auckland in four years' time" on NZME radio, but no official announcements have been made about the next America's Cup format, host country or port.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development chief executive Brett O'Riley said Auckland was experienced at hosting world-class major sporting events.

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These had generated substantial economic benefits for the region, he said, and included previous America's Cups and Volvo Ocean Race stopovers.

The 2003 America's Cup was worth $529m and helped open a new door to Auckland.
MARK DWYER/FAIRFAX NZ

The 2003 America's Cup was worth $529m and helped open a new door to Auckland.

But any decisions about the next America's Cup would be contingent on Team New Zealand determining the event's format, host country, and port.

"We will discuss opportunities for Auckland to potentially host future America's Cup events with Emirates Team New Zealand and other partners when the time is right, but for now we wish the team well as they celebrate their success."

NZ Marine Industry Association executive director Peter Busfield said last week an America's Cup win would be worth about $500m to the $2 billion-a-year boatbuilding industry.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts says the America's Cup would bring visitors and profile to the ...
SUPPLIED

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts says the America's Cup would bring visitors and profile to the country.

Auckland last hosted the America's Cup in 2000 and 2003 after Team New Zealand won it in 1995.

Busfield said nearly 100 superyachts were in New Zealand for the racing back in 2000, up from the previous norm of one or two.

After the cup was lost, those numbers dropped to about 19, and while they had risen again to 55 visits last year, that was still just 60 per cent of the previous peak.

Busfield was in Palma, Spain, last week, promoting the country's expertise, and said on Tuesday he was told that if Team New Zealand won the America's Cup, the country would not even need to advertise to see those superyachts sail back.

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Each superyacht was worth about $5m to the economy, and at least 50 more would come on the back of the cup win.

"That's the magnitude this thing can have.

"It actually just turns you into a fashionable place to be.

"It's a leading-edge opportunity for New Zealand to get high-level investors to see what New Zealand's about."

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said visitation and profile were the benefits of an event like the America's Cup.

"Hosting the Americas Cup in New Zealand again will give us an opportunity to promote our country as a premier destination for high value visitors.

"We can also use international media interest in the Cup to stimulate general interest in visiting New Zealand."

An America's Cup economic impact study estimated Auckland's regatta in 2003 injected an extra $529m into the economy, about the same as the event in 2000.

Ateed general manager visitor and external relations Steve Armitage said last week Auckland's hosting of a future America's Cup would need to be in partnership with the government and the private sector in order to maximise its economic return.

Busfield, who was in Bermuda for the final race with about 11,000 other people, said you only needed to look at Auckland's Viaduct Harbour to understand the impact it could have.

Both central and local government would need to plan and invest properly in the event for it to be a success.

"Winning the cup in 1995 gave Auckland a new 'front door', with the building of the Viaduct Harbour.

"We must take this opportunity to think in an innovative way to make New Zealand an even more attractive country for our international visitors, as well as those of us who call it home."

 - Stuff

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