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World Champs major earner for region

The 2017 World Shearing and Woolhandling Championships, held in Invercargill in February, was widely heralded as the best event in the competition's 40-year history.

Now, independent analysis has backed that up, revealing a $6.78 million to $7.48 million economic impact to the Southland economy.

The economic impact report, commissioned by the event and undertaken by Venture Southland, has revealed that international visitors to New Zealand for the event stayed an average of 31.3 days in New Zealand, 14.5 of those in Southland.

Each international spent $316 per day on accommodation, food, retail spending and other activities, higher than the usual tourist spend of $235 per day, with domestic visitors to the region spending an average of $260 per day.

Additionally, the total impact on the New Zealand economy (not including time spent in the Southland region) was between $7.78 million and $9.30 million.

The event also generated online news coverage with an advertising value equivalency of over $3.4 million, along with significant print, radio and television coverage not captured by the research.

World Shearing and Woolhandling Championship Organising Committee Chairman Tom Wilson said the numbers exceeded all expectations.

"We are blown away by the impact the event has had. The feedback we received during and following the Champs has been overwhelming, but to see the number in black and white really brings home what a special event it was for our sport and for Southland," Mr Wilson said.

"Right from the start, we set ourselves the goal of delivering the best World Championships in history. We didn't want to leave any stone unturned and looking back now, I think we gave it as good a crack as we could have hoped," he said.

Post-event feedback for the event was overwhelmingly positive, with 97% of respondents rating the event and it's organisation positively. Key to the World Championships' success was the venue.

ILT Stadium Southland and the event facilities were rated in the highest-possible terms, with 98% of attendees surveyed rating the venue positively.

"We couldn't have asked for more from the ILT Stadium team. Competitors and spectators were blown away by the venue and the set-up. To turn a world-class facility like the Stadium in to a wool-shed for a week and have everything run so smoothly was no small feat," Mr Wilson said.

ILT Stadium Southland General Manager Nigel Skelt said the response pointed to the huge amount of work the event organisers and his team had put in to make the event a success.

"This event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the true multipurpose, multifunctional nature of ILT Stadium Southland. Southland has always known that they have created a world class facility and to get the feedback from our international guests was something special," Mr Skelt said.

"It was fantastic working alongside the Organising Committee to create an event that will live long in the memory of all those attended or who watched around the country and the world," he said.

Invercargill Licensing Trust Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Ramsay was also full of praise for the event and the support it received from the Southland community.

"When the opportunity presented itself to help bring the World Champs to Invercargill the ILT board were unanimous in their support of funding the event. It once again showcased the world class venue that ILT Stadium is. The event also highlighted the fantastic Southern Hospitality that we provide, which was recognised and commented on across International media by the participants and judges," Mr Ramsay said.

A total of 12,607 paying spectators attended the event over the four days of competition, including sell-out crowds on the two final evenings of competition.

"We knew that we could deliver a great event for our competitors and the level of competition and performances we saw on stage proved that. But, in the end, the support we received from the shearing community, sponsors and funders and from the Southland community is what I'll remember most about this event," Tom Wilson said.

"The atmosphere on that final night and the roar of the crowd, especially when Johnny (Kirkpatrick) and Joel (Henare) won their world titles is something I will never forget. We can't thank Southland enough."


 

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