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Summertime visitors to Kaikoura : characteristics, attractions and activities

By David G. Simmons, Chrys M. I. Horn and John R. Fairweather


This report presents an analysis of summertime visitors to Kaikoura. Detailed information is presented on descriptive visitor characteristics, the attractions of Kaikoura, and activities undertaken, for a systematic sample of visitors in January and February 1998. For short stop visitors (those staying less than two hours), Kaikoura primarily fills the role of a 'convenient break' (79.7 per cent of first choice of attraction to Kaikoura). The core of this group comprises domestic (New Zealand) visitors (75 per cent) engaging in more extensive trips. While average expenditure per person per visit is relatively low (estimated at $2.40 per visitor) some activities are undertaken, including 15.6 per cent who visit the Kaikoura Information Tourism Inc. (KITI) visitor centre. This activity alone indicates a wider interest in Kaikoura, and signifies a potential for increasing length of stay or repeat visitation. Short stop visitors represent a large group – 43.5 per cent of all visitation or an estimated 380,000 visitors annually. Day visitors to Kaikoura (those staying more than two hours, but not overnight) are numerically the smallest of the three visitor groups. Visitors' numbers are estimated at 137,000 annually. For these visitors, Kaikoura is a specific destination as evidenced by their high interest in whale watching (48.1 per cent) and visiting the seal colony (43.6 per cent). Engagement in commercial activities and supporting industries lifts daily average daily per person expenditure for this group to $47.50 the highest of all three groups. Overnight visitors to Kaikoura, (those staying one or more nights) are mainly international tourists who make up seven of eight overnight visitors. Overnight visitors are estimated at 356,000 annually. Average length of stay is reported as 1.8 days. Within this pattern, domestic tourists tend to stay for shorter periods. Lower cost forms of accommodation (backpackers and motor camps) are used mostly, while commercial activities (whale watching and swimming/viewing dolphins especially) provide the key focus for commercial activity. Informal activities (visiting the seal colony, (63 per cent); and the visitor centre; (77.4 per cent) are nonetheless important to their overall experience in Kaikoura. These activities are paced throughout their visit to indicate an average daily per person expenditure of $45.73. Indices of satisfaction, measured as willingness to refer Kaikoura to others, and/or to re-visit, indicate high overall satisfaction by visitors of their experience in Kaikoura

Topics: tourism, Kaikoura, Fields of Research::350000 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services::350500 Tourism, 1506 Tourism
Publisher: Lincoln, Canterbury
Year: 1998
OAI identifier:

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