Tourism continues to be an important industry on the West Coast and is the region’s second largest employer. At last count tourism contributed 12% of the region’s employment with approximately 2,015 FTE’s in all tourism related and tourism characteristic industries. Accommodation is the greatest source of employment with 33% of the total figure, followed by Cafés and Restaurants contributing 14%.

Guest nights increased 5.4% from 2015 to 1.3M in 2016. This number includes 794,377 international guest nights (a rise of 7.6% from the year before) and 529,737 domestic guest nights (2.5%) increase.

The $248,000 funding package DWC has allocated Tourism West Coast is being used to attract domestic tourists to the region and encourage them to come more often and stay longer. This funding package announced in 2015 was in addition to the $86,000 of annual funding DWC provides to TWC in conjunction with the 3 West Coast district councils and reiterates the level of importance the sector has across the region.

Tourism West Coast’s domestic focus is already showing excellent results. The additional funding allocated to promote the Hokitika Wild Foods festival resulted in a increase of ticket sales by almost 6%, and the number of stallholders leap from 42 to 51.

Having access to additional funds to promote the Old Ghost Road Cycle and Tramping Trail proved extremely successful for Tourism West Coast, with the spend being directly attributed to the 18,000 online interactions. That was collectively achieved through promotion on Facebook and in digital media.

The fund has also been used to increase domestic promotion for Art In The Park, Agfest, the Buller Marathon and the Return of the Westland Petrel Festival.

DWC annual contribution to Tourism West Coast

It has been a challenging year for tourism operators on the West Coast but DWC is pleased to continue its annual contribution of $83,000 to Tourism West Coast.

Tourism is an important driver for the West Coast economy contributing 12% of employment and above national average GDP of 6.6%.

DWC believes it is important to have a regional body promoting tourism on the West Coast and is pleased to see the District Councils also confirming their contribution to Tourism West Coast for the next financial year.


Tourism Infrastructure report released

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) today released an in-depth report on tourism infrastructure aimed at providing reliable information for those interested in the New Zealand tourism sector.

The Tourism Infrastructure report is the first in the new Tourism Insight Series. The report provides a snapshot of the current demand for and supply of infrastructure, including accommodation, transport, airports and cellular network coverage.

This new report and the Tourism Insight Series will make a valuable contribution to the government tourism strategy, which coordinates government efforts to support the sector to grow and plan for the future.

Future reports in the Tourism Insight Series will include Regional dispersal and seasonality (2016), Quality of the visitor experience (2016/17), Tourism skills and labour needs (2016/17) and Productivity of tourism firms (2017).

Tourism Statistics for the West Coast

Tourism West Coast and the West Coast Economic Development Manager have compiled the attached fact book with statistics relating to the Tourism Industry and specifically to the West Coast.  
(August 2016)

DWC to provide financial boost for West Coast tourism

Development West Coast is to provide nearly $250,000 towards a promotion package to attract greater numbers of domestic tourists to the region.

The $248,000 funding for Tourism West Coast is designed to boost the local economy and get more Kiwis visiting the West Coast. The money is in addition to the $86,000 DWC currently funds Tourism West Coast annually.

DWC Chairman John Sturgeon says it should attract more visitors, to come more often, stay longer and spend more.

"Tourism is a big employer on the Coast but these are tough times and to ensure tourism continues to thrive it needs a boost. If we can increase the number of domestic tourists here it is new money that gets spread around the community, from accommodation providers and supermarkets, to coffee places and petrol stations," he says.

Tourism is the West Coast's largest employer and a critical part of the economy generating $309million for the year ending March 2014.

Tourism West Coast Chairman Richard Benton says his Board is delighted in the confidence shown by DWC in Tourism West Coast as the funding provides a really significant opportunity to bring more domestic visitors into our region.

"These funds allow us to focus on the domestic market which tends to stay for longer and subsequently spend more money. We see it as a significant amount of money that will stimulate the regional economy as visitor dollars will flow through and benefit all areas of the community," he says.

The funding will be used for creative destination marketing and promotion initiatives, and in some cases involve joint ventures to gain leverage with organisations like the AA with its 1.4million database. There will also be a focus on boosting participation numbers to existing West Coast events and encouraging competitors, supporters, friends and family to stay longer in our region.

"We need to explore a number of innovative and different ways to attract domestic visitors to discover the West Coast. Tourism really is on a strong growth curve and now is the perfect time to build on numbers with the West Coast well placed to capitalise on this, and present compelling reasons for New Zealanders to visit," says Mr Benton.

(September 2015)


Marg Grant Small

Margaret Grant, Board Member, Tourism West Coast

DWC appointed Margaret Grant as its representative on the board of Tourism West Coast in 2009.

Mrs Grant previously owned and operated the Westport Motor Hotel for 19 years and brings a wealth of industry experience to Tourism West Coast’s board.

“I am passionate about the tourism industry, it is challenging, interesting, and every day is different,” she says.

Mrs Grant says she welcomes new CEO Jim Little and says she believes Tourism West Coast has turned a corner.

“It is important to have confirmed funding, and the new management
is making a real effort to involve tourism operators in marketing and promotion planning.