Million dollar visitors

‘They like to eat out and buy themselves little luxuries when they visit a district’.

‘They like to eat out and buy themselves little luxuries when they visit a district’.

File picture

“Grey nomads” at the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association rally here last weekend spent more than $1 million.

Over the three-day event the local economy benefited by, to begin with, about $300,000 plus rally fees in advance to cover services such as entertainment, rubbish collection and venue hireage. That cost of around $90,000 was spread among the 644 vans, says rally co-organiser Nigel Mead.

“Additionally, they spent $100,000 with exhibitors at the event and rumour has it that $200,000 of motorhomes and caravan sales were confirmed. Mobile food traders and bars benefitted with bumper sales; and the A&P society, sound and lighting specialists and, importantly, local entertainers were well rewarded.”

Organisers budgeted for 500 motor caravans but accommodated 644. Another 80 camped at the Gisborne NZMCA park and around the district.

Figures from the rally expense sheets, plus extrapolated figures for additional time rally-goers spent here, brought the total value to the district to more than $1 million, says Mr Mead.

“They tend to spend heavily as they are the ‘grey nomads’, many of whom are retired, and have good amounts of disposable income. They like to eat out and buy themselves little luxuries when they visit a district.”

Haircuts, dresses, shoes, batteries, tyres, meals, diesel, jewellery, groceries, liquor, fishing gear were among goods and services the visitors bought while here.

“So you can see that motorhomes staying in the district contribute to the local economy in a large way.

“We can expect the impact of this rally to echo for a couple of weeks as people take in the delights of our district and weather before moving on.”

Organisers also promoted the district’s tourist activities and attractions. Many motorhomers own electric bikes and took advantage of this region’s flat terrain to explore the flats and town areas.

Two highlights from the rally come to mind for Mr Mead. They are the unveiling of the restored Reo, the first vehicle registered with the NZMCA.

Kelvin Davis ‘coup’

The second highlight was the response to the cabaret show on Sunday night presented by brothers Doug and Walter Walsh — three standing ovations from the audience of 1200.

“Spine-tingling stuff. Almost everyone commented on the variety of local talent on display day and night.”

Having Kelvin Davis, minister of tourism, as keynote speaker was a coup for the district, says Mr Mead. The rally gave him insight into responsible self-contained motorhoming.

“Hopefully this will flow into a revised Freedom Camping Act as there were many suggestions as to how Government might move forward to revise the current situation.”

The NZMCA hopes the success of the rally showed the Gisborne District Council that motorhomers are a group worth supporting and that the GDC will install a public dump station in keeping with their motorhome-friendly status, he says.

“Grey nomads” at the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association rally here last weekend spent more than $1 million.

Over the three-day event the local economy benefited by, to begin with, about $300,000 plus rally fees in advance to cover services such as entertainment, rubbish collection and venue hireage. That cost of around $90,000 was spread among the 644 vans, says rally co-organiser Nigel Mead.

“Additionally, they spent $100,000 with exhibitors at the event and rumour has it that $200,000 of motorhomes and caravan sales were confirmed. Mobile food traders and bars benefitted with bumper sales; and the A&P society, sound and lighting specialists and, importantly, local entertainers were well rewarded.”

Organisers budgeted for 500 motor caravans but accommodated 644. Another 80 camped at the Gisborne NZMCA park and around the district.

Figures from the rally expense sheets, plus extrapolated figures for additional time rally-goers spent here, brought the total value to the district to more than $1 million, says Mr Mead.

“They tend to spend heavily as they are the ‘grey nomads’, many of whom are retired, and have good amounts of disposable income. They like to eat out and buy themselves little luxuries when they visit a district.”

Haircuts, dresses, shoes, batteries, tyres, meals, diesel, jewellery, groceries, liquor, fishing gear were among goods and services the visitors bought while here.

“So you can see that motorhomes staying in the district contribute to the local economy in a large way.

“We can expect the impact of this rally to echo for a couple of weeks as people take in the delights of our district and weather before moving on.”

Organisers also promoted the district’s tourist activities and attractions. Many motorhomers own electric bikes and took advantage of this region’s flat terrain to explore the flats and town areas.

Two highlights from the rally come to mind for Mr Mead. They are the unveiling of the restored Reo, the first vehicle registered with the NZMCA.

Kelvin Davis ‘coup’

The second highlight was the response to the cabaret show on Sunday night presented by brothers Doug and Walter Walsh — three standing ovations from the audience of 1200.

“Spine-tingling stuff. Almost everyone commented on the variety of local talent on display day and night.”

Having Kelvin Davis, minister of tourism, as keynote speaker was a coup for the district, says Mr Mead. The rally gave him insight into responsible self-contained motorhoming.

“Hopefully this will flow into a revised Freedom Camping Act as there were many suggestions as to how Government might move forward to revise the current situation.”

The NZMCA hopes the success of the rally showed the Gisborne District Council that motorhomers are a group worth supporting and that the GDC will install a public dump station in keeping with their motorhome-friendly status, he says.

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