}

Thursday, August 09, 2018

They fling you


New Zealand has a new “adventure tourism” activity: The Nevis Catapult, which is located in the Nevis Valley in Central Otago (Facebook video from CNN above). It sends people flying across the valley at 100km/hour in 1.5 seconds. Then, after a few bounces, the person is lowered to the valley floor. That would be a no from me.

The attraction has been worked on ver the past 30 years, apparently, by the same people who brought us bungee jumping in 1988. I never understood the point of jumping off a perfectly good bridge or building, which suggests that I’m probably not the market for such attractions. Because I’m not.

All joking aside, adventure tourism is serious business in New Zealand. Key findings in a 2012 study [Read/download the PDF] from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), half of all international tourists did some sort of adventure tourism, and a third did some sort of extreme adventure tourism. They spent $1.6 billion in New Zealand, which accounted for 60% of all holiday related tourist expenditure. Also, and this is just interesting, the study also found that tourists from The Netherlands and Germany were most likely to do adventure tourism.

To put that into perspective, in the year ending February 2018 [Read/download the PDF], all international tourists in New Zealand spent a combined total of around $6.8 billion (the total for ALL international visitors, including tourists, visiting friends/relatives, and also business) was $10.5 billion.

Tourism has been growing year on year, and directly contributed around 5.9% of New Zealand’s GDP for the year ending February 2018. Tourists in that period spent an average of $3,190 each (today about US$2,130), with a median spend of $2,130 (US$1,423).

What all of this means is that every new attraction is important for the New Zealand tourism industry, and adventure tourism is something New Zealand is known for, and an area where there’s still a huge potential for growth. Sure, people like me may not be interested in those attractions, for whatever reason, but there are plenty of other things to keep us interested—and spending—too.

So, to each their own. Adventurous and sedate tourists are all welcome in New Zealand, and they’ll have a great time whatever they choose to do.

Tip o’ the Hat to Grayson for calling my attention to the CNN video.

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