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24 July 20: Bumper July school holiday boost for the Mighty Waikato

The Waikato region scored the second highest level of domestic visitors during the recent July school holidays (4 – 19 July 2020) across New Zealand according to a new Data Ventures report.

The Waikato tourism region achieved a 19% growth in domestic visitor numbers during the July 2020 school holidays compared to July 2019. On average, 55,140 domestic travellers visited the Waikato region during the school holidays, compared to 46,350 visitors this time last year.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Chief Executive, Jason Dawson, says all tourism businesses in the visitor economy benefited from the influx of domestic visitors during the winter school holiday season, including accommodation, retail, hospitality, tourism operators, transport providers and event venues.

“The Waikato region was only second behind the Auckland region who attracted 79,160 domestic visitors into their region” said Dawson.

“We have around 2.6 million people living within a three-hour drive radius of Hamilton & Waikato which is a significant domestic market for our region” he said.

“Air New Zealand also increased capacity during the school holidays into Hamilton Airport from our fly markets of Christchurch and Wellington which gave us the extra boost as well” he added.

Dawson said Hamilton & Waikato Tourism has also been working hard to attract domestic visitors back to the region post-COVID, launching a number of marketing campaigns targeting the leisure, business and events market in key ‘drive and fly’ markets.

“Our Waikato residents responded really well to the ‘Mighty Local’ campaign during Alert Levels 3 & 4, and now our ‘Open for Exploration’ campaign in the leisure market for domestic travellers outside of the Waikato, the ‘Mighty Welcome’ campaign in the business events market and deals on our website are helping to drive increased visitation and spend” said Dawson.

“These reported figures align to the anecdotal evidence we had from all our operators that they were run off their feet during school holidays. We are continuing to work with our industry to stimulate demand between now and the September/October school holidays, plus the lucrative spring/summer season” added Dawson.

Hamilton & Waikato Tourism have also partnered with Tourism New Zealand’s ‘Do Something New, New Zealand’ national marketing campaign to ensure Waikato is part of a Kiwi holiday ‘must-do’ list.

Tourism New Zealand commissioned Data Ventures, the commercial arm of Stats NZ, to measure the domestic tourism activity around the country over the two weeks of the school holidays. The 2019 winter school holidays ran from 6 – 21 July, compared to the 2020 winter school holidays from 4 – 29 July.

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The Waikato also performed well with Queen’s Birthday weekend in another report by Data Ventures which was commissioned by Tourism New Zealand.
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