'BIG WEEKEND' CONTINUES WAIRARAPA'S PULLING POWER

Tuesday, 10 November 2020
'BIG WEEKEND' CONTINUES WAIRARAPA'S PULLING POWER
Wairarapa's tourism and hospitality sector is in for a bumper weekend with a feast of events expected to attract thousands of visitors.
Hotels, motels and other accommodation providers will be at near capacity starting Friday, particularly in South Wairarapa, as visitors flock to the region for what has been dubbed "The Big Weekend".
Much of the activity leverages off the cancellation of Toast Martinborough, traditionally a big windfall for the region in the middle weekend of November.
The Big Weekend will see more than half a dozen Martinborough vineyards and cellar doors hosting events, including live music. In addition, Featherston is hosting a Booktown event with an artisan food fair, Gladstone the annual Scarecrow Big Day Out and a circus event is coming to Carterton.
It continues the strong performance of tourism in Wairarapa post the covid lockdown with Wairarapa leading the country in visitor spend growth.
The latest data from the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) shows that Destination Wairarapa is the only Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) to have year to year growth, with tourism spend in the region increasing 3% for the period ending September. There is a total of 31 RTOs in New Zealand.
Destination Wairarapa General Manager Anna Nielson says the results are extremely pleasing.
"As a region, we have a lot in our favour; there are so many things for people to do when they visit, and our proximity to Wellington makes us very accessible," Nielson says.
The upcoming Big Weekend is a demonstration of the pulling power the Wairarapa has, she says.
"We know from accommodation bookings for Toast Martinborough that people were coming from all over the country, with lots from Auckland. Although Toast is cancelled,
many of those people are still coming and making their own Toast Martinborough weekend."
Helped by a big push by Tourism New Zealand to drive domestic tourism in New Zealand, Neilson is anticipating a busy summer in visitor numbers.
"The events calendar is looking great with some wonderful events throughout the summer leading up to the Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival at the end of February which we expect will draw visitors from all over the country."
"Since lockdown was lifted weekends have been super busy; the annual Pūkaha Garden Tour last week was a sell-out, the first for a few years."
Full details on the Big Weekend can be found here
ENDS
For more information please contact:
Barb Hyde
Destination Wairarapa Marketing Manager
Mobile: 0272 227 2130