$2m monorail benefit claimed

Queenstown stands to benefit from up to $2 million of promotion and an extra 30,000 visitors to New Zealand a year, if the proposed $200 million Fiordland Link Experience is built, it is claimed.

The figures feature in an analysis by economists Brown, Copeland and Co on the employment and income effects of the proposed monorail between Queenstown and Te Anau Downs, which was commissioned by Wanaka based development company Riverstone Holdings Ltd, and released last week.

Riverstone estimated overseas marketing of the project, involving catamaran, all-terrain vehicle and monorail services, will attract an extra 30,000 visitors to New Zealand each year, based on an annual international marketing campaign costing between $1 million and $2 million, encouraging a 1.1% increase in international tourist arrivals.

The campaign would draw attention to Milford Sound, Te Anau, Fiordland National Park, Fiordland and the Queenstown Lakes district, as well as the Fiordland Link Experience itself.

The report said average spending per visitor to New Zealand was $2750, implying an extra 30,000 overseas visitors would lead to additional visitor spending of $82.5 million a year.

Detailed work at the regional level would be undertaken for the Resource Management Act stage, which was the next step in the process, subject to ministerial approval of the concession, Riverstone managing director Bob Robertson said.