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Marketview: Lions tourists proved value off the field

23 Aug 2017  By Contributor

A new report shows that the Lions tour provided a significant boost to the local economy, attracting high value and experience driven British and Irish supporters.
In a report analysing spending behaviour by UK and Irish visitors, consumer spending specialists Marketview have found that the Lions tour not only brought more visitors to the country, but its supporters were a valuable group for many areas beyond the host cities. Managing Director Stephen Bridle says that the impact of the Lions tour has been very positive for local businesses, and is an encouraging sign for those in the tourism industry seeking to attract higher value visitors.
Marketview figures show that Lions supporters spent more than three times the amount of British and Irish tourists visiting over the same period last year, as well as spending 31% more per payment card.
“Lions supporters were a hugely valuable group to both the New Zealand economy and tourism industry. Their spending habits showed they were willing and able to spend money and make the most of their time here. They certainly experienced a lot of what New Zealand has to offer”.
While many industries benefitted from the Lions tour, spending figures from Marketview found that the hospitality industry in particular saw significant growth. Lions supporters spent almost four times the amount that British and Irish visitors spent last year at bars, cafes, restaurants and takeaways, and increased their average transaction value at these businesses by 42% – the biggest growth of any category.
Lions’ supporters were also keen road trippers while in the country, spreading their economic benefit beyond the host cities.
The report found that approximately a quarter of tourists visiting from the UK and Ireland chose to drive around the country, and experience more of the local countryside. Figures showed that road tripping Lions fans allocated more of their spending money to regional destinations, travelling down either side of the North Island to the benefit of areas such as Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki.
“The Lions tour and its supporters proved that New Zealand can both attract valuable, experience driven visitors. Their high value spending patterns should provide encouragement for those wanting to target other high profile events in the future, and attract more tourists keen to explore New Zealand” says Bridle.

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