High tourist numbers see rise in spending in the River City

By Akuino Olaaiga

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POPULAR: The Whanganui River has seen plenty of tourists this summer.
POPULAR: The Whanganui River has seen plenty of tourists this summer.

The warm climate, popular tourist trails, and canoeing along the Whanganui River have all had visitors and locals spending up large in the River City.

January spending in Whanganui was up compared to the same month last year, according to the latest Paymark statistics.

In total, more than 1.02 million Paymark transactions were made in Whanganui last month - that's a 4.3 per cent jump from January 2015. Total spending in Whanganui for the month reached $41.7 million, which was 3.7 per cent more than what was spent in January last year.

A holiday park owner reckoned a large number of tourists was mainly responsible for the increase in spending. Rebecca Mead, who owns and operates Raetihi Holiday Park, said this summer had been especially busy: "All of December and January we've had no quiet days and no days off - the bookings just keep coming."

Paymark chief marketing officer Tim McFarlane said the figures were in line with expectation for the summer months: "After Christmas, spending is usually somewhat lower - although January traditionally sees an increase in accommodation."

This year, accommodation was up 30 per cent while food and beverage services were up 24 per cent. January carried on where December left off, with an annual underlying growth rate of 6 per cent.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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