Tourists staying in Gisborne holiday parks last year poured $20 million into the regional economy and the region’s biggest holiday park is expecting even more growth in the near future.
Research by Angus & Associates, commissioned by Holiday Parks New Zealand, shows holiday park visitors in Gisborne spent a total of $20.96m last year.
International visitors to the region’s holiday parks, including Mahia and Morere, spent an average of $190 a day, while domestic visitors spent $113 a day.
Overall, visitors spent $3.8m on snacks and groceries and nearly $3m in Gisborne’s cafes and restaurants. Accommodation costs amounted to $6.3m of the total spend.
Gisborne Holdings Ltd, which operates the Waikanae Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park for Gisborne District Council, said the park registered over 50,000 guest nights in 2018.
“Seventy percent of guests were domestic, bringing approximately $7 million into the local economy (using numbers provided by Holiday Parks Association),” GHL chief executive Tracey Johnstone said.
“Combined with $600,000 paid in wages, which has a multiplier effect on the community, we estimate the park adds about $10 million to the Gisborne economy.”
With the recently completed construction of new high-end accommodation units at the park, further growth in the sector was anticipated.
“The advantage of the TOP 10 is the price points. We have accommodation, pretty much to suit every budget. We do get quite a lot of group bookings and I think that’s an advantage too that we can really look to grow that sector, and that’s something we are looking at.”
As part of a four-year, $8m redevelopment of the park, six two-storey units were completed just after Christmas.
“We are now noticing that they are coming into their own. They are really popular . . . and it’s not just when the park is full. People are upgrading from more basic accommodation.
“We have a new interim manager there who has some great ideas. We are now looking at what the next stage is and what other value-add we can bring.”
Nationally, holiday park visitors contributed close to $1.2 billion to the economy.
Holiday Parks New Zealand chief executive Fergus Brown said he was heartened the research showed 66 percent of holiday park guest nights across New Zealand were domestic visitors.
“It’s positive to see that New Zealanders still choose to stay in our holiday parks on their travels throughout the regions.
“It’s a Kiwi tradition, and our communities benefit so much from our holiday parks continuing to host visitors.
“Holiday parks directly benefit their community because they employ locals, purchase supplies from local vendors, and spend money on services like facility maintenance and marketing.”