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Visa Intl. Supports Tourism Scholarship Programme

Visa International Supports Tourism Scholarship Programme

January 20 2005 - Seven tourism research students have been announced today under a new tourism industry scholarship initiative funded by The Ministry of Tourism and Visa International. The research will give the industry the enhanced information required for New Zealand to maintain its leadership position in world tourism.

The seven New Zealand students are undertaking a variety of research aspects of the tourism industry and have been awarded post-graduate scholarships of $15,000 each. The recipients will work in association with tourism operators and stakeholders and will produce information that will help the industry improve its practices.

Iain Jamieson, Visa's New Zealand Country Manager, described the initiative as a key strategy to enable New Zealand to stay at the forefront of international tourist destinations.

"With the growing importance of tourism to the country and region, we believe this partnership between Visa and the New Zealand Government is critical to the industry's ongoing development."

"Visa has been a long time supporter of the New Zealand tourism industry through its relationships with tens of thousands of merchants, and millions of travelling cardholders. Visa cards are an increasingly important part of the tourism, making on-line and foreign currency transactions easier."

"Last year we released our first Tourism Report to give tourism operators information about people visiting New Zealand. The report illustrated the size of the overall industry - with visitors to New Zealand spending more than $7 billion, and almost 30% - $2.2 billion - of that spending was made on Visa cards."

"Now we are helping the industry to understand its issues at a deeper level through these scholarships. We are looking forward to working with the recipients we are supporting and providing whatever assistance we can," said Iain Jamieson.

# # #

Notes to Editors:

About Visa: Visa is the world's leading payment brand generating US$3 trillion in annual card sales volume. Visa has unsurpassed acceptance in more than 150 countries. The Visa organization plays a pivotal role in developing innovative payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions and their cardholders. Visa is a leader in Internet based payments and is pioneering the creation of u-commerce, or universal commerce-the ability to conduct commerce anywhere, anytime, and any way. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com or www.visa.co.nz

About Visa in Asia Pacific

In Asia Pacific, Visa has a greater market share than all other payment card brands combined with 62 percent of all card purchases at the point of sale being made using Visa cards. There are currently 229 million Visa-branded cards in the region. During the 12 months ended 30 September 2004, US$455 billion was spent at point of sale or withdrawn from ATMs in Asia Pacific using Visa cards. Visa Asia Pacific's Internet address is www.visa-asia.com.

ENDS


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