Visitors boost city businesses

Spending in Otago on the day of Fleetwood Mac's Dunedin concert was nearly $700,000 higher than the corresponding day last year, Paymark figures show.

Visitors and residents spent $8.98million, compared with $8.3million in 2014. Paymark claims to process more than 75% of New Zealand's eftpos, debit or credit card transactions.

The figures showed spending on food and beverages on Wednesday rose 40.4% on the corresponding day last year, from $900,000 to $1.26million.

Spending on Tuesday was up 27.6% on last year.

Accommodation spending on Wednesday increased by 32.4%, from $500,000 to $662,000, while spending on alcohol rose 41.9% to $141,900.

The concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium drew the venue's largest crowd.

Many visitors chose to stay after the concert to see what else the region had to offer.

Hospitality Association of New Zealand Otago branch president Mark Scully said many people had made the most of their visit to the city and surrounding areas.

''It was certainly very busy yesterday [Wednesday], which is fantastic,'' he said.

''But the night before was busy as well. People that have come to town have come for two or three nights.

''A lot of accommodation requires a two-night minimum and the [limited] flight schedule means you can't just get out when you want.''

Mr Scully said the type of people who flocked to Dunedin for the concert were ideal.

''A concert like that is great for the city.

''It gets the locals out but it also attracts a lot of visitors of the right demographic in terms of expenditure.

''They usually have a few bob and like to go out and have a nice meal and have a few beers.''

Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive Dougal McGowan echoed Mr Scully's comments.

''The other part which is really important is the idea that they're having a good time here.

''It sounds like the concert was absolutely fantastic and, having a good experience in Dunedin, they'll go back to their home towns and tell people about it.''

Accommodation was booked as far away as Oamaru, Mr McGowan said.

damian.george@odt.co.nz

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