A comprehensive expenditure survey on the 2011 Raggamuffin music festival has highlighted the huge economic benefit Rotorua gets every year from hosting the popular international music event.
The report reveals that this year alone Rotorua’s economy benefited by $9.3 million of direct spend from those attending Raggamuffin. It is estimated that over the four years it has been staged to date the local economy has been boosted by approximately $40 million.
Survey analysis shows that 62.6% of festival attendees stayed in Rotorua, 13.51% were day visitors, while Rotorua residents made up 24.09% of total concert numbers.
Events & Venues Rotorua general manager Peter McLeod said the figures confirm that Raggamuffin is a true destinational event bringing big numbers of visitors to the city and generating a huge boost to the local economy.
He said 75.8% of overnight visitors stayed in commercial accommodation while the balance stayed with friends and relatives. Many Rotorua families and whanau seem to be rediscovered by long lost relatives each time Raggamuffin comes around, he joked.
Of those visitors staying overnight or longer 29.2% stayed in motels, 19.6% in hotels, 15.1% in camping grounds and 5.5% in hostels or backpacker accommodation. Most (57.2%) stayed two nights in Rotorua and 9.4% stayed for three or more nights, while 33.4% stayed for one night.
Mr McLeod said the average Raggamuffin visitor staying in Rotorua, spent $751.04 in the city while day visitors' spend averaged $116.13 per head. These figures exclude GST and the actual event ticket purchase price as ticket costs are not considered to be local expenditure.
"Expenditure figures also exclude spending by visiting artists and their support crews, as well as event production and marketing costs, and these would actually boost the economic impact even further if added in," he said.
Data gathered confirmed the wide audience appeal of the festival with attendees aged across a wide spectrum:
Under 20 yrs - 12.4%
20 to 29 years - 41.6%
30 to 39 years - 27.8%
40 to 49 years - 14.3%
Over 50 yrs - 3.9%
Mr McLeod said Events & Venues and the Rotorua District Council were delighted with the results of the Raggamuffin survey.
“Analysis of ticket sales in previous years had indicated a high level of out-of-town visitors and the comprehensive survey this year verified this. But we were pleasantly surprised with the average length of stay and the amount of local expenditure by festival goers.
“It’s interesting to note that in 2011 Raggamuffin visitors each spent an average of $268.56 on accommodation and hospitality, $139.76 at local attractions and tourist facilities, and a further $116.53 in retail outlets. The balance was made up of local travel, festival and ‘other' expenditure. Overall expenditure proved significantly higher than had been projected,” said Mr McLeod.
The survey involved a sample 431 Raggamuffin festival attendees in a combination of online and in-person interviews.