Record economic returns for AIMS Games

This year’s AIMS Games event injected nearly $6.5million into the Bay of Plenty’s economy, a new report reveals.

It’s a 108 per cent increase from the last economic impact study in 2016, with September’s week-long event also contributing 74,787 visitor nights to the region.

This year’s intermediate-aged tournament drew more than 11,500 entries from around New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

 The Tauranga City Council-commissioned study shows the event bought 23,775 attendees for the week.

Tauranga Mayor Tenby Powell describes the tournament as a “shining light” in Tauranga’s event calendar.

“This report shows exactly why Tauranga can be so proud of hosting this event and why Tauranga City Council is a strategic partner of the event.

“And that pride is evident – 72 per cent of residents that were surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that events like the AIMS Games make Tauranga a more enjoyable place to live, while 92 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience at this year’s tournament.

“There is no other event that resonates so strongly with rangatahi, showcases the breadth of sporting and recreational facilities that Tauranga has to offer or achieves such incredible economic results year after year. The event’s growth is second to none,” he says.

The 2016 report showed the tournament drew more than 9000 entries and had 17,290 unique visitors. The net benefit of that event – once costs had been considered – was $1,186,256, whereas this year’s event increased that figure by 166 per cent to $3,152,265.

The increasing reach of the tournament was reflected in the live streaming statistics, with 178,582 viewers tuning in from more than 15 different countries around the globe.

“We had people watching the action live from places like Spain, South Africa, Singapore and Fiji,” tournament director Vicki Semple says.

“We’ve invested heavily in the production quality of our coverage over recent years too, which means we are effectively showcasing our beautiful city and its venues to all these overseas viewers. It also means that it isn’t just the athletes taking home amazing memories; thousands of people overseas are too.”