Southland is one of the top three regions in the country for tourism spend, which is up 10% for the year ended September 2017.

The Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTEs) produced by MBIE, show the Southland economy benefiting to the tune of $623 million from domestic and international visitors; an encouraging outcome as the regions tourism sector prepares for the summer season.

Cascade Creek, Fiordland

Venture Southland GM Community, Tourism and Events, Bobbi Brown says the latest figures are worth celebrating and reflective of a successful year for the region.

We have to continue to build on this success as we progress towards the goal of creating a $1 billon dollar industry for the region.

Along with an increase in spend within the region there has been an increase in the number of international guest nights, 25.7% within the Southland Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) area, and 17.9% increase in the Fiordland RTO.

Mrs Brown says Venture Southland is focused on managing the significant growth taking place and continuing to support Southland’s tourism sector.

"Venture Southland places a high priority on providing advice and assistance to existing and new operators as they bring new products to the market. We continue to add products that give visitors reasons to stay longer and spend more in the region."

"Transport World’s Dig This and the development of Tumu Toka Curioscape Natural Heritage Centre at Curio Bay are outstanding examples of new products that tick all the boxes and provide diverse and unique activities for domestic and international visitors."

"While we can’t predict what the tourism season can bring, the current indicators are that this will be a busy season for the region’s tourism based businesses within both RTOs."