Local customers underpin retail spend

There was a good turnout at the Matakana Tourism meeting, where members like Heather Johnson-Lee (left) and Jackie Russell were given plenty of time to network.

“Don’t overlook the importance of local customers to your business” was the message delivered at a Matakana Coast Tourism meeting held at Plume Restaurant on July 19.

Tourism member Fiona Angus presented an overview of the quarterly Marketview data, which underlined the importance of local spending in the area.

In the last 12 months, consumer spending in the Matakana Coast region (Puhoi to Pakiri) totalled $228 million, and spending by Mahurangi and Rodney residents made up 70 per cent of that figure.

In the quarter April-June, spending in the region grew by 4.8 per cent to $65 million, although this was $10 million less than the previous quarter, reflecting the region’s seasonal pattern.

Ms Angus reported that spending during the April-June quarter also showed a slightly different visitor mix, with proportionally more spending by locals and less from the rest of NZ.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the group’s chair, Penny Webster, to reflect on her first eight months in the job and Heather Johnson-Lee gave an update on social media improvements, which included enlisting the support of a local public relations business, RK Communications.

One Warkworth manager Murray Chapman said the new One Warkworth/Matakana Tourism i-SITE partnership was working well and commented on the success of the recent Winter Festival of Lights event.

A question directed to Mr Chapman regarding whether or not the word ‘wine’ might be dropped from the Matakana Coast brand in future was quickly dismissed.

“I’m not the person to answer that question and this is not the appropriate forum to talk about it anyway,” he said.


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