Winter Games' net financial boost $7.8 million

Sir Eion Edgar
Sir Eion Edgar
This year's Winter Games provided a major financial boost to Southern Lakes and New Zealand, a games report released yesterday shows.

Economic data shows the 700 athletes, support teams and spectators generated a net national benefit of $7.8 million and the return on investment ratio for the Government was 1:7.8 - meaning for every dollar invested by the Government the return was $7.80.

This compares favourably with a recent report produced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) of 18 events supported by New Zealand Major Events.

In this report, the highest return was a net national benefit of $6.1 million and the investment ratio across the whole Government portfolio was 1:4.5.

The Winter Games' own event spending in Southern Lakes was $2.1 million and the event provided local accommodation with 37,786 international bed nights and 11,200 domestic bed nights.

The 11-day competition was held in August across Queenstown, Wanaka and Naseby.

Included were six World Cup events, which was an increase from the single one included in the 2011 event.

Winter Games NZ Trust chairman Sir Eion Edgar said a key objective was to provide a significant economic return on an ongoing basis and a benchmark had been established.

The 2014 Winter Olympics will be held in Sochi, Russia, with the following Winter Olympics planned for Korea in 2018 and Sir Eion said ''the opportunity is there to really capitalise on this and to grow the winter market out of Asia''.

Winter Games NZ chief executive Arthur Klap said the decision to increase the number of World Cups in the games from one to six had been a major factor in the improved economic returns from the games.