Tourists flash plastic in $38.7m February spend

Canadians, Europeans, Aussies, they're flocking to Gisborne.

Canadians, Europeans, Aussies, they're flocking to Gisborne.

TOURIST DOLLAR: Paymark figures show spending in the region for February was up 3.7 percent on February of last year. The increase has been attributed to tourists, as local moteliers reported increased guest numbers. File picture

SPENDING in Gisborne was up 3.7 percent last month compared with the same time last year and much of the increase was attributed to tourists.

It was the seventh highest lift of the regions around New Zealand, with a large component being spent on accommodation and transport.

Paymark figures show that $38.7 million was spent in the region in February. The company processes 75 percent of all electronic card transactions in New Zealand.

February was a popular month for cruise ships, with many tourists coming ashore to spend money in the city centre or on activities across the region.

Local moteliers also reported a busy February of overseas visitors. Beachcomber motel co-owner Adele Swanson said they had a rise in offshore guests.

“The tourists have definitely increased this summer. We’ve noticed a lot of different nationalities, mainly Europeans — Swiss, German and lots of English — and Asians. They have all loved it here. I think they were pleasantly surprised by what we could provide here in Gisborne. They have been wonderful.”

Mrs Swanson said the busier February had something to do with more settled and sunny weather.

Whispering Sands co-owner Peter Martin also noticed an increase.

“Canadians, Europeans, Aussies. I think there’s more overseas tourists coming over this way. Even last year I saw an increase. The trend is up now. They fly in to New Zealand, hire a car and drive around the country.”

Mr Martin said they were called FITs — Free Independent Travellers — who do their own thing.

Paymark communications manager Paul Brislen said the extra day in February of 2016 (a leap year), was not factored in to the results. If it had been, it would have given the figures even more of a lift.

SPENDING in Gisborne was up 3.7 percent last month compared with the same time last year and much of the increase was attributed to tourists.

It was the seventh highest lift of the regions around New Zealand, with a large component being spent on accommodation and transport.

Paymark figures show that $38.7 million was spent in the region in February. The company processes 75 percent of all electronic card transactions in New Zealand.

February was a popular month for cruise ships, with many tourists coming ashore to spend money in the city centre or on activities across the region.

Local moteliers also reported a busy February of overseas visitors. Beachcomber motel co-owner Adele Swanson said they had a rise in offshore guests.

“The tourists have definitely increased this summer. We’ve noticed a lot of different nationalities, mainly Europeans — Swiss, German and lots of English — and Asians. They have all loved it here. I think they were pleasantly surprised by what we could provide here in Gisborne. They have been wonderful.”

Mrs Swanson said the busier February had something to do with more settled and sunny weather.

Whispering Sands co-owner Peter Martin also noticed an increase.

“Canadians, Europeans, Aussies. I think there’s more overseas tourists coming over this way. Even last year I saw an increase. The trend is up now. They fly in to New Zealand, hire a car and drive around the country.”

Mr Martin said they were called FITs — Free Independent Travellers — who do their own thing.

Paymark communications manager Paul Brislen said the extra day in February of 2016 (a leap year), was not factored in to the results. If it had been, it would have given the figures even more of a lift.

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