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New Tourism Growth Forecasts

New Tourism Growth Forecasts Provide New Incentive To Get Tourism Strategy Right

Preparing for, and managing the impact of, the 2.53 million tourists forecast to visit New Zealand in 2006 will be a key part of the work of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy (NZTS), Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Glenys Coughlan said today.

"The updated International Visitor Arrival Forecasts show that current tourism growth is set to continue and accelerate out to 2006, at an average rate of 6.7% a year. This will mean another million people visiting New Zealand in the next 6 years.

"While this is good news for the economy and the tourism sector, it also means that the tourism industry as a whole must be ready to manage the impact of this increase in international visitor numbers. "The NZTS is currently engaged in a process to see that the expected growth of tourism in New Zealand can be managed in a sustainable way which will maintain our unique way of life and natural beauty, which is what brings people here in the first place."

Ms Coughlan said that the new forecasts firmly cement tourism as New Zealand's biggest export earner.

"These figures show that tourism is set to continue to make a big and increasing contribution to the New Zealand economy. While increased numbers are important, so is visitor spend, and this has been increasing steadily and should continue to do so.

"To fully harness the increased employment and regional economic growth of tourism for the good of New Zealand, central and local Government can not assume that the tourism industry can do it all by ourselves. We need them to ensure that the regulatory environment is simplified that there is adequate infrastructure and telecommunications investment, that the regional tourism organisations are properly funded, that the workforce is properly upskilled, to name just a few issues.

"The New Zealand Tourism Strategy will look at all these issues in partnership with government, to ensure that we are ready for the increase of tourists we are going to get over the next decade," Ms Coughlan said.

ENDS

Full Copies of the International Tourism Forecasts to New Zealand: 2000 - 2006 are available from Bruce Bassett, Office of Tourism and Sport 04 498 7448 More information: Simon King, (04) 494 1845, (025) 807 252

Simon King MANAGER, GOVERNMENT AND MEDIA RELATIONS TOURISM INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION NEW ZEALAND Level 4 79 Boulcott Street WELLINGTON NEW ZEALAND PH: 04 494 1845 025 807 252 FAX: 04 4990827

The Tourism Industry Association represents 3,500 businesses and organisations within the tourism industry Members include airlines, airport companies, and regional tourism organisations, rental car, coach and taxi companies, inbound tour operators, travel agents, adventure tourism operators, accommodation providers, tourism attractions, researchers, training organisations and tourism services providers Tourism is New Zealand's largest export earner - accounting for 16 % of this country's export earnings The Tourism Industry Association organises the New Zealand Tourism Conference, TRENZ and the New Zealand Tourism Awards

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