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TSB Festival of lights boosts local economy by over $9m

Featured news Local Lifestyle
PUBLISHED: 12 MAR 2024

This summer’s TSB Festival of Lights delivered by NPDC kept local tills ringing – pumping $9.2m million into the Taranaki economy and a record 175,000 visits over the five-week lights and entertainment spectacular.

An independent report on the 2023/2024 festival cemented the love and importance of the event, highlighting increased visits and spend in the region – up from $8m GDP and 140,000 visitors the year before (2022/2023).

The report from Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) highlighted that of those who visited the festival 39 per cent of total festival visits were by people from outside Taranaki and of these, 69 per cent said the festival was their main reason from coming here.

New Plymouth District Mayor Neil Holdom is not surprised by the continued success of the festival, which is much loved by locals as well as visitors to NPDC’s award-winning Pukekura Park.

“It just keeps getting better every year with mesmerising new light installations and entertainment, attracting both locals and people from all over Aotearoa, helping to create amazing experiences for our people and visitors in our Sustainable Lifestyle Capital . “

“Events like this are vital for our local economy, especially in tough financial times, so I am thrilled to see local businesses reaping the rewards of all the hard work put in by the NPDC team.”

NPDC Events Lead Lisa Ekdahl says organising the festival is a massive undertaking which starts almost as soon as the previous one packs out, so it is satisfying to see all that work pay off.

“We started preparing for this festival February and are always looking at how can we make it better, so to hear people loved it, visited several times and that our local economy has benefitted makes all those hours of effort worth it.”

Meanwhile preparation is already underway for the 2024 TSB Festival of Lights Winter Pop-Up event which takes place on Matariki weekend - Thursday 27 June to Sunday 30 June. Event details will be announced soon.

 

Fast Facts

  • This year’s festival featured 14 light installations, outdoor movie screenings and 85 events
  • The 2023/2024 TSB Festival of Lights ran from 16 December 2023 to 21 January 2024.
  • Up to 140,000 people have visited the TSB Festival of Lights in New Plymouth’s Pukekura Park in recent years. The 2023/2024 season seeing 175,000 people was a 20 per cent increase.
  • The 2023/2024 festival season post analysis study by Business and Economic Research Ltd (BERL) showed that the festival generated $17.9 total expenditure, $9.2m GDP and 39 per cent of total visits from people from outside Taranaki.
  • This year, the Festival also had a 92 per cent visitor satisfaction rating from visitors and 100 per cent from event performers and entertainers.
  • In 2022 the TSB Festival of Lights won two New Zealand Event Association Awards from their last season, including Best Government Event 2023 and New Zealand’s Favourite Event 2021 (as voted by the public).
  • Up to 7,000  people attend the festival’s free New Year’s Eve event.

 

Caption: Spirograph, designed by Onga Artful Light Company from Thailand, was among 14 light installations featured in the 2023/2024 TSB Festival of Lights.