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National parks and walking tracks grow regional

National parks and walking tracks grow regional revenue

July 19 2005

The Tourism Industry Association represents 2000 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, accommodation providers, tourism attractions, researchers, training organisations and tourism services providers.

Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export earner – accounting for 18.5% of this country’s export earnings. The Tourism Industry Association organises the New Zealand Tourism Conference, TRENZ and the New Zealand Tourism Awards. Go to www.tianz.org.nz

A report showing the economic impact of visitor activity around two iconic walking tracks is further strong evidence that, working together, conservation and tourism grow regional economies.

The Department of Conservation has released the Regional Economic Impacts of Abel Tasman National Park and Queen Charlotte Track which shows the two areas are contributing $54.4 million per year. That is, $45 million into the Nelson Tasman region and $9.4 million into Marlborough. The report also shows job growth as a result of tourism activity.

In Nelson-Tasman the Abel Tasman National Park has created 370 full time equivalent jobs and in Marlborough 98 jobs have been created. The Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Association, Fiona Luhrs said national parks and walks are vitally important to tourism, and tourism is vitally important to the country. “Our national parks are our most popular visitor attraction - the reason international visitors come to New Zealand.

“The industry’s relationship with DOC - its operations and processes is crucial to ongoing growth in regional economies. We trust the findings in this report will encourage greater investment in DOC to support sustainable management of these and other key conservation assets as the number of international visitors grows,” said Ms Luhrs.

Key statistics about tourism: Tourism is the world's fastest growing industry New Zealand tourism arrivals have doubled in size since 1994 Forecast annual growth is 6% on average for at least the next five years Tourism is New Zealand's single largest export sector and contributed $7.4 billion dollars to the economy in the year ended March 2004.

That is 18.5% of exports Tourism directly and indirectly employs 10 percent of the work force. That is one in 10 jobs in New Zealand. Tourism represents 9.6% of gross domestic product and generates nearly $500 million in GST returns from international visitors each year. Tourism is the only export sector whose international clients pay GST.

ENDS

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