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Foreign vistors spent just over $154 million last month, says electronic transaction merchant Paymark.
The spend is a 29.4% increase on last year. An extra 254,000 transactions were put through in September, amounting to $32 million in total.
According to Paymark chief executive Simon Tong, the figures show an injection of Rugby World Cup-related spending contrasting with more moderate general growth rates. But he also warns that other influences need to be factored into the total equation before judging the World Cup's impact.
“Our figures show what is being spent via electronic transactions around the country, but as we have heard from a number of our merchants, tourists are using cash for a lot of their purchases. Also pre-paid bookings and other agent bookings need to be considered as part of the total spending picture as well.”
He says there has been a “pockets of spending” pattern since the beginning of the World Cup. The spending pockets occur as tourists travel the country; eating, drinking and watching Cup games.
“This has been a huge bonus for some regions, particularly amongst hospitality merchants.”
Hospitality sectors show game-time surge
Transactions for all hospitality sectors were up compared to the same day last year.
Nelson – up 45% on match day and the next day, up 11% other days
Waikato – up 34% on match day and the next day, up 7% other days
Southland – up 26% on match day and the next day, up 14% other days
Otago – up 15% on match day and the next day, up 6% other days
Auckland/Northland – up 14% on match day and the next day, up 6% other days
Situation still tight
But in other parts of the country, there is only a modest change in spending both in the hospitality sector and across retail sectors.
Mr Tong said spending within other sectors did not change significantly on a national level. While some spending increasde and some decreased, there appeared little change elsewhere that could be related to the Rugby World Cup. “Overall the general situation remains tight.”