Sports tourism is taking off and Dunedin is on board,
industry leaders say.
The city will host three ICC Cricket World Cup matches and
seven Fifa U-20 World Cup matches next year.
The matches will expose millions of fans worldwide to
Dunedin, bring thousands of visitors to the city and boost
the local economy. How lucrative the events will be for the
city, and for New Zealand as a whole, was discussed at the
country's largest tourism conference - Trenz - in Auckland
Outgoing Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin
Snedden said sports tourism worldwide had increased by
''double digits'' in recent years.
''There's a whole argument going on around the world as to
the value of sport tourism and I think people are being
surprised by how high it is.''
The 133,000 visitors to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup
in 2011 bore witness to that, and although next year's events
would be smaller, they would still bring in the crowds, he
''For the Cricket World Cup, we are expecting between 15,000
to 25,000 visitors. A reasonable amount will come from
Australia and, depending on the pool outcomes, we could get a
lot from India.''
The Rugby World Cup generated a visitor spend of about $500
million, boosted the New Zealand economy by about $1.7
billion and created about 29,000 jobs nationwide, Mr Snedden
It also had 12,000 hours of international broadcast coverage.
''I'm not sure of the Cricket World Cup in terms of that sort
of figure, but it's certainly not going to be less than that.
''There is a much bigger worldwide audience for the Cricket
World Cup than the Rugby World Cup, and that in itself will
be pretty special.''
Mr Snedden, a director of New Zealand Cricket and the
International Cricket Council, said smaller sporting events
could also boost regional tourism in New Zealand as the
''We are doing it pretty well, but there are opportunities to
do it a lot better,'' he said.