Hamilton & Waikato Tourism’s chief executive, Jason Dawson, says the region’s rise – from 10 percent to 13 percent of Kiwis who have taken domestic holidays over the past year – is especially gratifying. Queenstown recorded an increase from seven percent to 11 percent.
“The increase confirms the many world-class experiences and attractions we have in our region are just as sought-after for our domestic visitors as they are for international guests,” Dawson says.
“As is the case with other regions, the number of people coming to Waikato for business-related and private events, such as family celebrations, has dropped away. Despite this fall-off we have still been able to grow our visitor numbers, and this is fantastic.
“The figures confirm we have the variety of leisure experiences, from adventure and adrenaline to relaxing escapes and family friendly activities, to appeal to a range of visitors.
“While we draw visitors from throughout the country, Auckland is our major market, and we look forward to welcoming Aucklanders again in the coming weeks as travel restrictions are lifted.”
Dawson adds that the visitor satisfaction research also revealed that 51 percent of domestic leisure trips were for holidays or short breaks, while 36 percent were to visit family and friends – and that, largely, Kiwis continue to be satisfied with their experience.
“This is important news for us and the many operators in our sector – knowing what we have to share continues to make our visitors happy is not only pleasing and its own reward for their hard work and dedication, but also allows for future planning and development.
“Everyone in the tourism sector here in Waikato is keenly looking forward to the coming holiday period, and ready to warmly welcome visitors. As others are urging, I also encourage everyone to get vaccinated – and come and join us for some summer fun.”