Whanganui businesses received a boost when the Labour Party Conference came to town in November.
Consumer spending data records that $7.67 million was spent in Whanganui from November 28 to December 1. That's an increase of 15.9 per cent on spending for the same weekend in November 2018.
"Overall, the month of November saw an average 2.2 per cent increase in spending compared to November 2018, so the weekend of the Labour Party Conference was a clear standout," Jonathan Sykes, Whanganui & Partners' strategic lead for brand and events, said.
The conference brought more than 500 delegates to Whanganui for the weekend and Sykes said the visitors "spent big" on eating and drinking.
"Spending at bars, restaurants and cafes went up 18.9 per cent over the weekend," Sykes said.
"We also saw a significant increase in spending by non-locals on clothing and footwear, indicating that the delegates did some shopping with their free time."
The weekend's consumer spend was only a small portion of the conference's economic impact, Sykes said.
• Premium - Labour delegates converge on Whanganui for conference weekend
• Whanganui secures bid to host 2019 Labour Party conference
• Premium - Whanganui Year in Review, November 2019: Labour conference, murder conviction, SH4 work begins
• Labour candidate thrilled with party delegates' responses to Whanganui experience
"This metric only captures consumer spending over the weekend, so pre-booked accommodation and any business-to-business spending with venues and vendors isn't included.
"This is just a piece of the overall picture, but it's a piece that tells us a lot about the benefits of large conferences to local businesses.
"We're lucky in Whanganui to have centrally-located venues that allow attendees to explore our city rather than spending all their time in a conference centre. It's a win for everyone, and we look forward to Whanganui hosting more large scale conferences in the future."