Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow brings visitor spend of $24 million to region

Warbirds Over Wanaka has revealed that the 30th Anniversary Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow last Easter had the biggest economic impact of its history, with a total visitor spend of almost $24 million in the Queenstown-Lakes region, an increase of $4 million on their 2016 results.

Warbirds Over Wanaka general manager Ed Taylor says the organisation is thrilled with the results, noting also that visitor satisfaction levels were an impressive 97%, up from 90% in 2017.

“We’re especially pleased with the high satisfaction levels. This is something our whole team works so hard on. We want to make sure that the flying displays are world-class, but also that everything else about the Airshow, right down to the toilet facilities, is top-notch as well.” 

A survey commissioned by Warbirds Over Wanaka showed that visitors who came specifically for the Airshow spent a total of $23,621,631 in the Queenstown-Lakes region, and those who were coming to the region already but still attended the Airshow, spent another $18,551,916 in the region. 

The survey also provided some interesting insights regarding accommodation, with 28% of visitors staying in homestay/B&B/farmstay accommodation or Airbnb. Of the remainder, the next biggest percentages showed 18% stayed in motels, and both hotels and holiday homes attracted 13% each. 

“These statistics have backed up anecdotal evidence that a lot more of our visitors chose the likes of Airbnb and rented holiday homes this time around,” says Mr Taylor.

The Airshow also received a 91% safety rating from attendees, an area that Mr Taylor says his team is always seeking to improve on.

“We are continually looking at ways to make the total event experience a safe one for everyone involved, and this rating reflects all the hard work done by so many in our team.”