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Visitors spent up large in Hastings in the three months to March, helping retail statistics continue the growth of the previous 18 months.

The latest Market View retail spending statistics showed overall growth on a par with the national level, but a large increase in visitor spending.

For the three months ended March 31, spending in Hastings grew by 5.2 per cent compared to the same three months last year, while in Havelock North spending rose by 6.4 per cent. The national increase was 5.6 per cent.

Total spend in Hastings reached $66.1 million; in Havelock North turnover reached just over $34.2m.

The percentage of locals spending within the district also grew, up 4.3 per cent in Hastings and 6.4 per cent in Havelock North. In Hastings, Napier cardholders contributed 17.7 per cent of turnover ($7.44 million), up 5.2 per cent on the same time last year.

The biggest change was the contribution of shoppers from New Zealand cardholders from outside of Hawke’s Bay. Their spending added up to $4.25m, up 30 per cent on the three months to March last year.

Hastings District Council’s economic development and urban affairs committee chairman Damon Harvey said the results showed the value of domestic tourism; people from outside of Hawke’s Bay travelling to the region for holidays and events.

“There are the obvious ones, Horse of the Year and Art Deco, but then there are all the other smaller but crucial events like winery concerts that certainly draw people to our region.

“All in all, this is again another good result. Retail spending is not a definitive measure of an economy, but it certainly is an indicator of wealth growth and confidence. With near two years of growth we can say that this is sustainable and we are very definitely heading in the right direction.”

Market View based its reports on electronic card transactions with adjustments made to allow for cash and hire purchase payments.

Posted: 14 May 2018

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