Visitor spending delivering for retailers, not just food and wine sector

New research to be presented to Orange City Council reveals the economic impact of visitors is being felt far beyond local tourism operators.

The new data presented to this week’s meeting of the Council’s Economic Development Committee shows visitors to Orange are just as likely to go shopping in local discount shops, hardware stores and clothing boutiques as food and wine outlets.

SHOPPERS: Cr Tony Mileto and Mayor Reg Kidd are pleased with research showing where visitors are shopping when they come to Orange.

Analysis of spending in Orange’s Light Industry retailers (which contains hardware stores) shows that 46.6% of expenditure in this category comes from visitors.

Orange Mayor Cr Reg Kidd said it’s important to have a promotional strategy that’s based on evidence, not stereotypes and misconceptions.

“Orange City Council is working hard to create a healthy business sector,” Cr Reg Kidd said. “Especially in these times, a strong business economy means secure jobs.”

“For retailers, it’s crucial to know where your customers are from, so you can market to them.”

Orange City Council Employment and Economic Development Committee chair Cr Tony Mileto said it’s crucial to look at the evidence.

“When you first hear about it, it sounds like a valid criticism,” Cr Tony Mileto said. “One of the questions often posed to Council is: ‘How does someone coming for food and wine help the local hardware store’?”

“But the more you think about it and the more you look at the actual evidence, the less sense those claims makes. Analysis of the category which contains hardware stores shows that 46.6% of expenditure in Orange in this category comes from visitors. It’s a similar number with local department stores. The Discount Department Stores and Clothing category has 46.0% of its purchases made by visitors.

“From time to time our marketing strategies face criticism for focussing on the factors that make Orange attractive and distinctive, our food and wine culture. Despite this focus, this data makes it clear that Council’s strategic marketing and promotional activity, both direct and through Orange 360, has been successful and has translated into value for retailers well beyond that traditional tourism sector.”

“It is interesting that Grocery Stores and Supermarkets has the lowest visitor expenditure of all the categories at 29.3%, yet still nearly a third of activity in this sector comes from visitors.

‘Both overnight and day visitors have a significant impact on the economy. That’s why we have a multi-pronged approach to attract people that’s aimed at encouraging as many people as possible come to Orange to contribute to the economy.

“It’s too simplistic to imagine all visitors are tourists from Sydney. Families who are visiting Orange might be people from Dubbo, or Mudgee, or Forbes who’ve come here for a medical appointment or to see an accountant. They might make a weekend of it and go to a winery, but they might also go shopping for a new TV or browse the racks in a clothing store while they’re in town.

The data shows Orange’s visitor number are steadily growing.

Tourism Research Australia data for visitors to the Orange local government area reached a new record in in the year ending Dec 2019 – 1,317,000. That had climbed from the year ending Dec 2015 when 773,000 visitors came to Orange.

That research shows that domestic overnight visitors stay for an average of 3 nights and spend about $467 per trip.

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