Taupo Bellwether

Bellwether Pedestrian counter installed in HeuHeu Street, Taupo.

A trial pedestrian counting device has been installed on a building in Heuheu Street as part of a joint initiative between Taupo District Council and Towncentre Taupo. It uses a camera to gather real time data on pedestrian traffic numbers which is then fed back and displayed on the council’s website. The information can then be used to inform a number of choices for shoppers, retailers and investors including when to shop and how long retailers should be open for to maximise their earning potential.

Taupo District Council’s business development and improvement group manager Will Samuel said pedestrian counters offered a number of benefits including allowing retailers to optimise their opening hours, better customise staffing levels and assess the effects of change over time. “The first device demonstrates what is possible with this technology and we hope to see more use of these devices in the future,” he said.

From a council perspective it was also a useful tool to see how foot traffic increased during key event weekends.

“On the Saturday of the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, nearly 9,000 people were counted passing the location, which is nearly double the number the Saturday before,” said Mr Samuels. “We all know events bring people to town but this will help us gauge how many of them are spending time in the CBD,” he said.

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