Nelson has enjoyed its second-best tourist year on record and the news is expected to get even better once data around tourist numbers in Nelson for the Cricket World Cup are released.
Nelson and Tasman had more than 1.25 million “guest nights” in 2014, meaning one night stayed by each tourist in the re- gion. That’s a jump of five per cent from international visitors alone, compared to the year before.
Those extra people have helped fuel spending as well, with Nelson once again topping the country’s spending growth through eftpos provider, Paymark. Last week Paymark announced a 10 per cent increase for Nelson for the month of February, the highest in the country.
Much of that growth has been put down to tour- ists with the accommodation and hospital- ity sectors seeing the biggest jump.
Nelson Tasman Tourism chief executive, Lynda Keene, says a sunny summer and the world cup have both had a part to play in the good figures.
“We won’t have January and February commercial accommodation figures until mid-April but certainly the year-end guest nights 31 December 2014, show the season kicked off really well. I do anticipate the January and February figures to show growth compared to previous year.”
She says the return of visitors from “traditional markets” like UK, Germany, USA and Australia and a grow- ing number of Chinese and Indian travellers has helped Nelson.
The Cricket World Cup has also been praised for its mar- keting of the region. Lynda says the “considerable expo- sure” around the world will have lasting effects.
“There were three Indian TV crews filming the region and TV and radio broadcasters from the BBC and other out- lets had extremely positive things to say about the region and the raft the of activities from kayaking, cruising, sailing, fishing, motorbike riding, cycling and eating great local food, beer and wine.
“The event will hold us [the region] in good stead in the future to attract more visitors from the UK, India and Aus- tralia.”