More than $3 million has been injected into the Western Bay of Plenty economy thanks to the 2016 NZCT AIMS Games.

The $3.05m was generated by 47,500 visitor nights and expanded the region's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $1.98 million.

An evaluation commissioned by Tauranga City Council of the sporting event's impact on tourism and GDP showed the regional return on investment for the games was 537 per cent. The event injected $2.5 million into the region from visitor spending, and an additional $500,000 into the region's event economy.

Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless said the results more than validated the regional investment in the games. Tauranga City Council contributed $60,000 to the event.


"This event attracts more athletes than the Commonwealth Games - it's one of Tauranga's biggest weeks of the year. AIMS Games has an enormous positive impact on our city and we're proud to support it."

The games are a strategic partnership between Tauranga City Council, Sport Bay of Plenty and the four Western Bay Intermediate Schools.

Key results of the evaluation included:
•The NZCT AIMS Games attracted 11,870 visitors to the Western Bay of Plenty, generating 47,500 visitor nights, with each visitor staying an average of four nights in the region.
•The Western Bay of Plenty expenditure increased by $3.05 million excluding GST, made up of $500,000 million through the organisation and delivery of the event (the region received $500,000 million more from the event budget than it contributed) and $2.50 million through expenditure by visitors to the region.
•The increase in regional output of $3.05 million resulted in an increase in regional GDP of $1.98 million.

The NZCT AIMS Games is a sporting championship that provides 11-, 12- and 13-year-olds with an opportunity to compete at an elite level in 22 different sports. The 2016 event attracted around 9200 students from 278 schools, with competitions hosted across 20 venues during the first week of September.

The total attendance was 17,290 people including competitors, teachers, parent helpers and supporters.

Expenditure by Western Bay of Plenty residents was zero-rated for the economic evaluation, meaning that spending by local participants, spectators and sponsors was counted as neither a cost nor a benefit to the region.

This year's AIMS Games will run from September 10 - 15.