Saturday's FIFA World Cup qualifier between the All Whites and Peru brought at least an additional $8m into the Wellington economy.

The occasion produced an extremely busy weekend in downtown Wellington resulting in a short-term injection of money into the region, while a clear flow-on effect is harder to measure.

A total of 38,000 fans watched the two teams play out a 0-0 draw before they flew out to Peru for tomorrow's second leg with a berth at next year's World Cup up for grabs.

The visiting team was well supported in the crowd while a high number of touring journalists will send visual and written accounts of the game back to South America.


"Certainly in terms of short-term impact the city was really busy over the weekend and helped considerably by 38,000 people packing into the stadium," David Perks, Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency's General Manager Venues, Marketing and Destination Development told the Herald.

"We know an event of this scale is worth about $8m of additional spending in the city. It is highly appreciated.

"Lots of New Zealanders visited Wellington this weekend and I think close to or around 2,000 Peruvians. I don't know how many Peruvians there have ever been in New Zealand before but I am suspicious that on Saturday there would have been more Peruvians in New Zealand than there had ever been before.

"My understanding is that about half of that number came from Australia."

Many of those people will return to Australia or Peru with stories to tell and images to share of their time spent in Wellington.

The coverage of the event draws worldwide interest while there is clearly a piqued interest in Peru.

"All the Peruvian journalists that were in the city would have told the story about the football but also about Peru playing outside of South American, which is something they have done very rarely over the last 50 years," Perks said.

"That story will have a positive impact.

"Peru is a big country with a large and diverse population and what we have seen from the game is that Peruvians will travel.

"Tourism NZ do a lot of work in South America to draw visitors from there so we will be looking to build on the extra exposure that Wellington and New Zealand have gained from hosting this game over the next year or so."

Perks said this global sporting event adds to Wellington's international reputation.

"Hosting these kinds of events gives us another string to our bow of leveraging global media attention just like when we have hosted movie premiers, Rugby World Cup events, the World of Wearable Arts - they all go together to help create a $2.4b tourism industry."