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MOU signifies an industry working together

Media Release

MOU signifies an industry working together

28 July 2005

The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) and the Inbound Tour Operators Council (ITOC) will ally two strong agencies and create a considerable force to tackle the hard issues emerging in tourism.

At the ITOC Conference in Nelson today the Chairmen of TIA and ITOC signed an agreement which commits each partner to working closely together on areas of mutual interest, and lending each other support and complementary skills.

TIA is the umbrella organisation and advocacy voice of the tourism industry. It represents over 2000 members across the industry and has many partners and organisations within its constituency. Within this membership ITOC represents the New Zealand inbound tourism industry (full members) and a number of the operators of accommodation, transport, attractions and activities (allied members) that specifically work with those inbound companies. ITOC’s full and allied members collectively handle all or some of the itineraries of most of New Zealand's international visitor arrivals. The majority are also members of TIA.

In a joint statement chief executives of the two agencies said “This agreement is not just about shaking hands and smiling in front of cameras. It’s about two influential agencies getting down to the nitty gritty issues that are challenging the industry. We are committing to work together to find the best way forward for the collective interests of the industry and New Zealand at large.

“In the past few years New Zealand has benefited from some fantastic coverage (for example through the America’s Cup and Lord of the Rings), we’ve enjoyed a lot of limelight. But solid and managed growth must come from within the industry - not just from visitor numbers. Growth must come in investment in plant, in training and in marketing which builds on these benefits.

“The industry has good momentum and enjoys a strong position in our economy but it must continue to hone its marketing skills and stay in front of tough competitors.

“Together through this agreement ITOC and TIA will work toward common goals and continue to deliver leadership and services to our members.”

TIA also provides ITOC with day-to-day secretariat services including accounting, reporting, database and reception assistance.

The Minister of Tourism, Hon Mark Burton said the accord is one that will stand the industry in good stead. “One of the strengths of this dynamic industry is the co-operation and partnerships which operate across all levels. The agreement today by TIA and ITOC - two of the most influential industry groups will build further success for those who deliver the visitor experience in New Zealand. I congratulate TIA and ITOC on reaching this accord - it is a great example of industry leadership."

The representatives who signed the MOU today are Geoff Burns, Chairman, TIA, and Stuart Neels, President, ITOC.

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 9.4% 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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