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International spend jumps 22% to drive Coromandel growth

1 Nov 2017  By Paul Yandall


Cathedral Cove, The Coromandel. Image: Mike Bordignon

International visitor spend jumped 22% to a record $106m in the year to June 2017, according to Destination Coromandel’s latest annual report.

Total visitor spend grew 9% to $435m for the year compared to the previous 12-month period and total visitor nights also increased 9% to 4.7 million.

“The Coromandel has enjoyed record results in all key measures for the year ending June 2017,” said Hadley Dryden, general manager of Destination Coromandel. Visitor
The 9% increase in visitor spend compared to 6% nationally and commercial guest nights increased 7.5%.
“However, the year was not without its challenges, particularly the unseasonal autumn weather, which was far from the ‘Endless Summer’ we intended to promote to our core market,” said Dryden.

Domestic travel represented 76% of total visitor spend, with 60% coming from the region’s drive market – Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

International visitors were providing much of the growth in the region but were also demanding more of Destination Coromandel’s resource as a result.
“This is off the back of a 10.2% increase in international arrivals to New Zealand, years of investment in travel trade marketing, and successive joint ventures with Tourism New Zealand into our most valued offshore market – Australia contributed $26m into our local economy,” said Dryden.
“China contributed a modest but healthy $2m, despite Destination Coromandel not targeting this market outside of baseline international activity.”

The regional tourism organisation said it had invested significant resource in its digital platform including an overhaul of website. However, the increase of 5.3% in visits to the website on the previous year was the site’s lowest recorded annual increase.
“While a drop in traffic was anticipated due to a site migration to a new open source system – effectively a website rebuild – we did not expect the results to be as low for a sustained period,” said Dryden.
“Unanticipated technical issues with content migration and site optimization were encountered over several months. Nonetheless, the upgrade is a long-term investment that will allow Destination Coromandel to select digital agencies best suited for particular development while also enabling an evolving system.”
‘The Coromandel good for your soul brand’ would remain at the heart of the organisation’s marketing activity, said Dryden.
“We have continued to expand the reach of the brand and logo, installing visitor information signs and billboards. Particularly impressive are the truck and trailer curtains blazoning our message on their daily commute between the region and Auckland. This helps keep The Coromandel top of mind, driving preference to visit.”

Destination Coromandel received $950,672 in revenue for the year to June, down only slightly on the previous period. Council funding comprised $670,474, down from $715,000 after a $45,000 reduction in the annual grant from Thames-Coromandel District Council, which contributed $550,000.
However, revenue from commissions, advertising and other sources grew by about 20% or $45,000.
Expenses totalled $958,417, down only slightly on the previous period, resulting in a small deficit of $7,745 for Destination Coromandel.
Click here for Destination Coromandel’s 2016-2017 Annual Report.

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