In the “The value of conservation

The Nelson-Tasman and Marlborough regions were selected for further economic impact studies to add to the results for the West Coast. Two candidates presented themselves: Abel Tasman National Park and the Queen Charlotte Track. In both cases, tourism is the focus. Butcher Partners carried out visitor surveys to estimate visitor expenditure.

Visitors were surveyed on what they spent during the 24 hours prior to getting to the site (to establish average expenditure in the region), expenditure at the site, expected duration of stay at the site and in the region, and how long visitors would have stayed in the region had they not been able to visit the site (to avoid counting tourism expenditure that would have occurred in any case).

Concessionaire activities (e.g. water taxis, kayak hire) and some DOC activities, which were estimated separately, are funded by visitor spending. Tourism spending on these activities was not counted to avoid double counting.

At Abel Tasman, visitors were divided into walkers, kayakers and Totaranui campers. Average daily spending figures were calculated for each group and then multiplied in each case by the numbers of visitors and the average time spent on each activity.

Abel Tasman National Park

At 22,530 ha, the headlands straddling Tasman and Golden Bays form the smallest of New Zealand’s 14 national parks. Abel Tasman is best known for the 51km coastal Great Walk, taking in bush and forest-fringed golden sands and turquoise waters, granite headlands and islands, with ample camping and tramping facilities along the route.

The area attracted around 180,000 visitors in 2004, including 75,000 day walkers, 24,000 overnight trampers, 29,000 kayakers, 10,000 day boat users, and 10,000 staying at Totaranui, as well as 30,000 visits to the park by private boat, and 10,000 visitors using only the beaches and not the walking track.

Abel Tasman National Park
impact on Nelson-Tasman

DOC spending
$1.2m/yr

Jobs
370

Output
$45m/yr

Value added income
$18m/yr

Household income
$11m/yr

Queen Charlotte Track

A water taxi ride away from Picton, the 71km track spans forested and farmed public conservation land and private land between Ship Cove and Anakiwa. Part of the attraction is the water taxi service, offering access to several landing points and a backpack-carrying service, allowing visitors to choose the number of days they wish to spend on the track. The private huts and lodges en route offer a wide range of accommodation standards.

The track is open to mountain-bikers, except along the busy Ship Cove-Punga Cove leg between 1 December and 28 February, making the Queen Charlotte one of the few dual-use tracks in the public conservation estate. It is also one of the few tracks where people can walk comfortably side by side.

Around 30,000 people walked or mountain-biked the busiest section in 2003–2004. There were 53,000 visitor-nights spent on the track in a year, and 12,000 visitor-days for people not staying overnight. The track directly supports more than 10 private accommodation businesses and three water taxi companies.

Queen Charlotte Track
impact on Marlborough

DOC spending
$0.2m/yr

Jobs
98

Output
$9.4m/yr

Value added income
$4.3m/yr

Household income
$2.5m/yr

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