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Bracing For Record Tourist Numbers This Summer

News Release
For immediate release
14 October 2004

Bracing For Record Tourist Numbers This Summer

International visitors are flocking to New Zealand in record numbers and tourist destinations are bracing themselves to cope with what promises to be an extremely good summer – especially now New Zealand is considered the Number One tourist destination for UK travellers.

Tourism leader Andrew Te Whaiti is just back from London where he was promoting The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute at Kiwilink UK.

The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute is one of the most visited destinations in Rotorua and New Zealand. Chief Executive Andrew Te Whaiti says it’s exciting times for Rotorua and for New Zealand as a whole.

“The UK is a big market for us. It’s showing strong growth and while New Zealand is a hot destination, we can’t forget we’re competing with many other destinations on our side of the globe,” he says.

“Over the next 18 months the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute will be expanding and adding to the range of what’s on offer, both as a response to tourism demand and also to stay ahead of the game.”

“The main growth is in the interactive tourist market. That’s a market looking for an authentic experience, has money to spend, and wants to be in control of their own travel. That makes them a good market for us, but also one that is discerning, so it’s important to keep up-to-date and keep the offering fresh.”

“The flow-on effect for the self-funded New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute is especially important because we are governed by an Act of Parliament to reinvest in Maori arts, crafts and culture.” “The increase in visitor numbers will have a strong economic benefit across the board and that’s reflected in the major investment in tourism facilities, not only by ourselves but others like Agrodome, Polynesian Spa, Skyline and the new Ibis Hotel.”

He says this growth often comes as a direct result of international marketing.

Te Whaiti is joined in London by Neville Nicholson from Skyline.

“We invest our funds to continuously market New Zealand, Rotorua and our products internationally.”

Te Whaiti says it shows a strong commitment when tourism businesses invest in international promotion at trade shows such as Kiwilink UK.

Rotorua is a strong performer, and Te Whaiti says visitor growth in the region is likely to be higher than the overall predictions from Tourism New Zealand.


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