German tourists Julia Ballreich and Alexander Franze take
photographs at the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday. Photo
by Peter McIntosh.
Dunedin's tourism industry is hailing a prosperous start
to the year.
Operators report a greater number of visitors are spending
more money, including on luxury items.
Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said it seemed
the tourism sector's growth corresponded with increased
That boded well for all operators, particularly those
offering high-end products, he said.
''We've had great feedback from members of the local visitor
economy, who are pleased to see the return of growth and who
are noting successful, even record, numbers. It's
exceptionally pleasing,'' Mr Saxton said.
Classic Jaguar Limousines managing director Steve McNulty
said business was up 40% on last year, and was better than it
had been for at least four years.
He partly credited a great cruise ship season and slight
changes in the passenger demographic.
''It's one of the best cruise seasons we've seen.''
There were more ''big spenders'' from the United States,
Germany and South Africa, and typically ''budget-conscious''
Australians were spending more, he said.
''Our Dunedin city heritage tour is one of the most
expensive, and our private vehicle hire is an expensive
option, but there has been enormous growth right across the
"It's a good news story as far as we're concerned, and I know
other operators are experiencing similar things,'' he said.
Cadbury World events manager Kylie Ruwhiu-Karawana said more
than 15,000 people visited Cadbury World in January, similar
to previous years.
Last January, about 16,000 people visited Cadbury World, but
there were more cruise ship visits that month than in January
this year, she said.
''This year, we've got more cruise ships in February. Spend
is also up. We are noticing people are happier to spend money
than they were last year.''
Chocolate was considered a luxury product and people seemed
to be more willing to indulge, Mrs Ruwhiu-Karawana said.
''People also seem to be in good spirits, generally, despite
the rain. I think the weather has probably worked in our
favour too, because we are close to town and an inside
operation,'' Mrs Ruwhiu-Karawana said.
Speight's Brewery tours were ''chocka'' and had been since
before Christmas, staff members said.
Toitu Otago Settlers Museum visitor experience manager Kirsty
Glengarry said more than 22,500 people visited the museum in
January, and there were 29,000 visitors between December 10
and January 2 when Pixie Town was on display.
Ms Glengarry said the numbers were pleasing, and it was
likely the weather had helped.
''Usually in summer there are more people outside and on the
beach, but we are also confident we have a good programme
that people enjoy coming to see.''
The museum cafe and shop was opened an hour early, at 9am, on
cruise ship days, and Ms Glengarry said it was possible the
museum could be opened at 9am if warranted by demand from
cruise ship passengers.
• More than 15,000 visitors to Cadbury World in January.
• More than 22,500 visitors to Toitu Otago Settlers Museum in
• 40% increase in business at Classic Jaguar Limousines.
• Speight's Brewery tours ''chocka''.
• More ''big spenders'' on cruise ships.
• More visitors buying luxury products.
• Increased consumer confidence.