Classic boosts local economy

By Lawrence Gullery

Promoters of the inaugural Hawke's Bay Food and Wine Classic (FAWC) claim visitors spent more than half a million dollars around the region while taking part in the 10-day event.

Figures researched by Hawke's Bay Tourism said it estimated about 1385 people attended FAWC events when it was held in November. Between 30 to 40 per cent, or 484 were visitors, were from outside the region, using 35 per cent as the average.

Based on a survey of visitors, 38 per cent went to one event, 32 per cent went to two events and 19 per cent attended three events out of the 58 available.

The figures were presented by Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas to one of the organisation's funders, the Hawke's Bay Regional Council, as part of its quarterly report.

"Tourists generally spend about $120 a day. Our 484 visitors spent $58,080 per day. In 10 days, that's over half a million dollars that was spent in and around the region," her report said.

"Further analysis will be done by an independent authority."

There were 2770 ticket holders who attended FAWC events but those figures did not include the free events run as part of the initiative, such as the Wheely Glassy initiative by the regional council or Kai In The Bay, in Ahuriri, which is run by another organisation but at the same time as FAWC.

Ms Dundas said there were initially 70 events schedule as part of the first FAWC but 12 were cancelled.

A review of what worked and what did not would be made in preparation for the winter version of FAWC, which could be held on Queens Birthday Weekend in June.

The winter FAWC would help generate more visitor activity during the traditional quieter months and Ms Dundas said Hawke's Bay Tourism was also launching a new event at Easter to make the most of the warm weather.

It is called "Cycle The Big Easy" and is a 43km route from Church Road Winery, through Napier city, Marine Parade, Clive, along the Tukituki River and ending at the Beat Girls concert at Black Barn in Havelock North.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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