Thursday, December 22, 2011

Was RWC A Wash-Out?

Well, well, well...what a surprise.
Fewer than 10% of Auckland businesses, surveyed on the impact of the *yawn* Rugby World Cup, felt they'd got any benefit from it.
That's one of the findings in a report released yesterday by the Auckland Council Group looking into Auckland's role in hosting the Cup. The survey of 500 regional businesses revealed Auckland firms showed high interest in the RWC, but less than a quarter of them felt any sense of involvement in the events. Over half of those surveyed thought they were well prepared for the tournament, but only 8.9% felt the Cup had benefited them.
Compare that to Kaikoura, with its whalewatching ├╝ber-drawcard (if anything can draw in the tourists, it's that!). A Kaikoura District Council survey showed a third said the RWC made no impact on their business, and 20% said they experienced a negative impact.
Overseas visitors flocked to stay in pricey (read "obscenely-inflated rip-off") North Island accommodation while Kiwis stayed home. Statistics NZ figures show guest nights for international visitors rose 7.1% during October, the second month of the tourny. But that was offset by a 6.5% fall in domestic guest nights. The overall guest nights figures for the month fell by a total of 1.5%, which sorely showed across the country.
As for the RWC Opening Night debacle in Auckland...seems it was a case of "too many chiefs, not enough Indians"! Tell us something we didn't know! The report says the Government's decision to cancel nationwide celebrations for the opening night (a year out) was partly to blame for chaos across Auckland that night, and left Auckland Council critically short of time to properly organise the night. WTF???!!! A year's lead-up was not - enough - time???
More information on the effects of the RWC on business will be released next April, but I think it's fair to say RWC boss Martin Sneddon's wildly optimistic previews of massive financial gain will be seriously offside!

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