WOW Bolsters Wellington Economy

26 February 2014

An independent Market and Economic Assessment, jointly commissioned by Wellington City Council and WOW, shows $22.6m poured into the local economy during the two-week 2013 WOW season – an increase of more than $7.5m on 2009.

The Exchange (2013), by Tatyanna and Natasha Meharry.

Supreme Award (2013) winner The Exchange, by New Zealand sisters Tatyanna and Natasha Meharry

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More than 47,000 people came to a WOW show in 2013, with 71.6% of those people coming from outside of Wellington.

The WOW awards show moved to Wellington from Nelson in 2005, largely to accommodate a continually increasing number of show–goers.

“Partnering with WOW makes great sense for Wellington” says Councillor Jo Coughlan, the Chair of Council’s Economic Growth and Arts Committee. “Our investment in WOW provides clear benefits for the Wellington economy through retail, hospitality and accommodation spend, as well as making Wellington an attractive place to work, invest in and visit.”

“The increase in spend over the last 6 years shows that the nine-year partnership deal signed by WOW and Wellington City Council in 2012 is proving to be a very sound investment.”

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says that Wellington is proud to be home to WOW. “WOW is an awesome Wellington event, attracting talent and visitors from around New Zealand and around the world.

“We are delighted with the results of the Economic Assessment, which show just how important WOW is to Wellington’s economy. WOW also showcases originality in costume, dance and music. Being home to this new artform is a boost for the creative events Capital.”

The show is usually staged over a two-week period in the TSB Bank Arena on the city’s waterfront. However, due to increased demand, the 2014 show season – in September and October – will be extended to include a third weekend, meaning that 8,000 additional tickets are available.

Steve Martin, TIA Hotels Regional Chair, Wellington says “WOW is a fantastic event for Wellington city and the additional visitors this iconic show brings into Wellington is a welcome boost for all the cities hotels, particularly during the weekends.”

“We are optimistic that this seasons third weekend will be beneficial not only for the hotels but also all the other businesses providing services to our WOW visitors.”