Big spenders target if NZ wins the Cup

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said his organisation's main role would be to host journalists if Emirates Team NZ win. Photo / AP
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said his organisation's main role would be to host journalists if Emirates Team NZ win. Photo / AP

Tourist groups would target luxury travellers overseas if New Zealand wins the America's Cup.

While there was likely to be only a relatively small number of people with a strong interest in making a special trip to watch Cup races, they would be high spending "premium" visitors.

Luxury Lodges of NZ chairman Murray McCaw said supporters of overseas syndicates were typical top end guests who spend an average of $2500 a day.

However, tourist operators and authorities had to actively sell the event and themselves.

"If we do win it then we'll need to leverage it to get the people here and then what we've got to do is move them out of Auckland so they can see the country."

The Government has allocated an additional $20 million to Tourism New Zealand over four years specifically for expanding the premium sector.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said his organisation's main role would be to host journalists if Emirates Team NZ win.

"The real value tourism gets out of these things is to capitalise on the international media that would otherwise not visit New Zealand, and get them to experience what a visitor would and talk up those things."

About 100 journalists who came here during the 2011 Rugby World Cup were hosted by Tourism New Zealand, the industry and regional tourism bodies. About the same number were brought out for last year's The Hobbit premiere.

"The whole industry puts its hand in its pocket to make sure the right media are getting those fantastic experiences."

Bowler said regattas before an America's Cup defence were spread over a couple of years.

"You've got a number of bites at the opportunity, so you contrast that with the Olympics where everyone is really busy on the event."

He said New Zealand would hope for a bigger challenger series than in San Francisco, which had just Team NZ and two other syndicates.

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development said the Cup's impact would be felt in three key ways - the direct boost to the visitor economy through international and domestic visitors and hosting international yachting syndicates for long periods, the benefits for Auckland's marine industry and as a catalyst for investment in waterfront infrastructure.

- NZ Herald

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