Wellington and WOW - a $15m Combination

11 December 2009

The pairing of Wellington and the Montana World of WearableArt Awards Show has proved a stunning combination in 2009, with this year's shows bringing more than $15 million into the city.

An economic impact assessment has underlined WOW's position as a drawcard for the Capital, with 65 per cent of this year's audience coming from outside the Wellington region.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast said the $15.1 million new spend by people attending WOW was a genuine boost to Wellington, with the highest proportion - 32 per cent - being spent in city shops.

"This shows that Wellington and WOW are a dream combination," Mayor Prendergast said. "People come not just for the show but for the whole Wellington experience.

"We put great store in the power of fantastic events like WOW and the NZI Sevens to pull people into the city, and these figures show that strategy is working spectacularly well.

"We are the events capital, and news like this shows how our events have helped boost Wellington's economy during this economic downturn."

In 2005 - the last time such an assessment was made - WOW brought new spend set at around $8 million. The new assessment, by Wellington consultancy McDermott Miller, states that the spend from this year's season, which ran from 24 September to 4 October and attracted 36,156 people, could support the equivalent of 130 full-time jobs for a year.

WOW CEO Gabrielle Hervey said: "We're absolutely delighted. Wellington is a great location for the Montana World of WearableArt Awards Show. People obviously love coming to Wellington to enjoy both the show and the Capital city."

Positively Wellington Tourism Chief Executive David Perks said the number of visitors attending the show from outside the Wellington region had increased by 77% since 2005 - an average increase of 2000 people every year.

"When you combine the fact that more than half of this year's audiences were first timers, and the audience loyalty that the show and our city are known to build, we can expect to see that continue to grow."

He said retailers were the big winners, with an estimated $4.8 million spent in the city's stores. "Town was absolutely pumping during show time this year."

For more information call:

Stephen Matthews, Mayor's Office (04) 801 3119

Angela Moriarty, Positively Wellington Tourism (04) 916 1211