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Kyoto: tourism to stump up $114 Million

10 June 2002

Kyoto: tourism to stump up $114 Million per annum from its profits.

New Zealand’s tourism industry is assessed to lose $114 million per annum from the year 2008 in lost profits through central government’s climate change policies. This is based on TIANZ projections of Landcare/Lincoln University research into Kyoto’s impacts on the tourism industry.

Mr Moriarty, TIANZ chief executive says this research confirmed that the tourism industry would be hit hard by a price on emissions imposed from the year 2008, particularly as many tourism businesses are already involved in voluntary initiatives that work towards similar objectives to Kyoto.

“Emission charges will come out of profits, not revenues. Viewed from that perspective, $114 million of extra costs will hit our industry hard. Some of our businesses will face a “double whammy’ of costs as they are already investing their money in private initiatives such as Green Globe 21 that will help achieve significant emission reductions anyway.”

TIANZ is also concerned that:

- New Zealand’s tourism industry will become less competitive relative to other international destinations as a result of higher cost structures in New Zealand imposed by Kyoto. This is particularly the case for tourists coming to New Zealand from countries such as the United States and Australia, that will not ratify Kyoto. These are important markets as approximately 50 percent of our tourists and 33 percent of our export value comes from these countries.

- Carbon taxes are unlikely to be quarantined for recycling into environmental improvement or economic development. History shows that targeted taxes simply cross-subsidise the economy and seldom get removed or reduced.

Mr Moriarty says central government has demonstrated a lack of understanding of business fundamentals by failing to undertake adequate industry analysis of the impacts of ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.

In particular, he says, the government has undertaken no meaningful analysis on the impacts of Kyoto on the tourism industry. Tourism is New Zealand’s other key foreign exchange earner, a $15 billion industry, that not only drives community development, but is also as much a core competency as agriculture.

Mr Moriarty says that TIANZ supports voluntary initiatives that lead to business and environmental sustainability and decries the imposition of punitive taxes and charges on businesses.

ENDS

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