Challenge Wanaka has released the findings of its 2012 report that show New Zealand’s largest triathlon festival brings over $6 million of direct economic benefit into the region as well creating a significant international media profile for Lake Wanaka as a destination.
A summary of the key points from Challenge Wanaka’s independently audited economic impact survey is detailed below:
- The majority of athletes came from outside the Queenstown Lakes region – 84%.
- 20% of Lake Wanaka Half athletes were international and 39% of Challenge Wanaka athletes were international. After New Zealand the countries most represented were Australia (102 athletes), UK (100 athletes), USA (18) and Germany (16). (Note this information is sourced from the registration records and not from the survey).
- 27% of Challenge Wanaka athletes visited Lake Wanaka for training prior to the event and 40% of Lake Wanaka Half athletes visited for training. The average training length of stay was six days.
- 37% of Challenge Wanaka respondents and 27% of Lake Wanaka Half respondents had competed in the event at least one time prior.
- Of the spectators, 79% stated that Challenge Wanaka was their main purpose for visiting Lake Wanaka with 73% coming from outside the Queenstown Lakes region.
- Lake Wanaka Half athletes stayed on average 4.9 nights in Lake Wanaka with rented holiday homes the main accommodation sector used. Challenge Wanaka athletes stayed an average of 4.7 nights staying predominantly in the motel/hotel accommodation sector.
- There were an average of five people in each athlete visitor party (three adults, two children).
- The average daily spend per athlete was $245 over an average of 4.8 days or $1,176 per athlete. The total average spend of spectators was $257 per person.
- Based on 1,300 athletes, the fact each participant brought five people and the event attracted approximately an additional 1,500 spectators, we estimate the direct economic benefit to the region to be between $6.3 million and $6.6 million.
- 100% of spectators, 100% of Challenge Wanaka athletes and 99.7% of Lake Wanaka Half athletes would recommend the event to others.
Challenge Wanaka race director, Victoria Murray-Orr, said the 2012 was the most successful yet, with the largest field combined with one of the deepest pro athlete fields seen in New Zealand long distance racing. Combined with the introduction of live Internet TV coverage and a giant screen for downtown spectators, the event’s profile was significant locally, nationally and internationally.
“Challenge Wanaka 2012 was a success at every level,” she said. “There was a record field of athletes, there were more spectators around the course, the online profile increased by nearly 600%, the international TV reach exceeded 400 million, the international print media generated more articles than ever before and the direct economic impact increased to over $6 million. We’re delighted that Challenge is able to put so much back into the community that supports it so well and we look forward to building on this success into 2013 and beyond.”
Challenge Wanaka is part of the global Challenge Family series of long distance triathlons that feature 11 races around the world. The next Challenge Wanaka will take place on 19 January 2013.