Shield wins may boost tourism

By Doug Laing

Signs of a boost for the tourism industry in Hawke's Bay as a result of the winning of the Ranfurly Shield will depend on how long the trophy stays in the region, according to one tourism industry leader.

Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said if the Magpies successfully defended the Shield today against Counties Manukau, Northland next weekend, and North Harbour on September 29, the region could possibly look to a greater tourism return related to the game against Wellington, although that match would be on a Thursday night (October 10).

It was Wellington which provided the two greatest returns of the 1967-69 defences, including a continuing McLean Park record crowd of more than 26,292, while the crowd for the one Shield match against Counties, 45 years ago today, was the lowest of the era, at 13,241.

But she agreed the second decade of the 21st century is a much different era.

Her organisation launched some accommodation specials on its website this week, but she said that while it generated extra "traffic" on the website, she wasn't sure whether it had generated extra accommodation bookings.

She also accepts that by far the majority of people at McLean Park today will be Hawke's Bay people.

"But we have had great coverage of Hawke's Bay in the media this week, and there will be even more with the fine weather for the game," she said.

Her own forecast...? "I think they've just got to win, don't they?"

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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