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Growing visitor spend a priority for Manifesto

17 September 2008

Media Release

Growing visitor spend a priority for Tourism Manifesto

Maintaining New Zealand’s share of the international tourism market is critical to keep growing visitor spend, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) says.

Visitor spending data released today proves that tourism is a bedrock of New Zealand’s economy and a growing source of foreign exchange, TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar says.

“The industry deserves full credit for the fact that international visitor spending has increased 5% at a time when visitor arrivals have slowed dramatically and many operators are facing challenging market conditions. The figures once again show that tourism is a fundamental contributor to New Zealand’s economy and way of life,” Mr Cossar says.

“TIA’s members are telling us very clearly that it is not ‘business as usual’ – they are facing a quickly weakening international economy, rapidly rising prices and increasing international competition.”

In releasing the data, Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor said that the ability to compete with other markets would depend on delivering a better product than our competitors and ensuring we are sustainable.

“But even more important is making sure New Zealand maintains its international market share,” Mr Cossar says. “We must invest in a strong brand to keep our position in key offshore markets.”

A top priority in the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto, released last week, is for the incoming government to increase public sector investment in marketing Destination New Zealand.

“Research shows that the potential returns from increased investment in tourism could be as high as 15-1, so the question we have to ask is why wouldn’t the incoming government increase investment in tourism?” Mr Cossar says.

“If New Zealand doesn’t invest in a range of marketing initiatives in the tourism sector, we risk falling off the international travellers’ radar. The industry is concerned that a failure to act quickly and invest more heavily will have long term and lasting implications for market share.”

A robust partnership between the tourism industry and the government is essential to growing New Zealand’s economy and enhancing our international brand. Government recognition of the importance of tourism as a transformation industry for New Zealand’s future will help grow the industry and increase our foreign exchange earnings even more, Mr Cossar says.

Read the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto at www.tianz.org.nz.


Top priorities in the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto
The tourism industry is calling for the incoming government to:

1. Recognise tourism as a bedrock of New Zealand’s economy - Establish a Tourism Industry Taskforce to drive a whole-of-government approach to issues affecting the industry and ensure the tourism portfolio is managed by a top ranking Minister.

2. Market Destination New Zealand - Increase public sector investment for targeted offshore promotions to markets of strategic importance to New Zealand and for improved marketing efforts in the domestic market.

3. Invest in vital infrastructure - Invest in a national convention centre, cruise ship port facilities and other infrastructure improvements required to reduce seasonality and increase spending from visitors to New Zealand.

4. Improve New Zealand’s environmental performance - Enhance New Zealand’s environmental performance and the capabilities of its tourism industry to deliver on the 100% Pure New Zealand brand promise.

5. Invest in training and work skills initiatives - Ensure New Zealand’s tourism businesses have the people they need to do business and to deliver a high quality visitor experience.

6. Boost the return from major events - Maximise the return to New Zealand of the Rugby World Cup 2011 and other major event opportunities.


ENDS

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