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Minister says latest Tourism figures must be built

28 February 2000

Minister says latest Tourism figures must be built on

Tourism has cemented its place as New Zealand's biggest industry and the challenge is to keep building on the success in the new Millennium, the Minister of Tourism Mark Burton said today.

"While an increase in the number of overseas visitors to our beautiful country is important, it is particularly pleasing that the economic value derived from those visitors has increased markedly in the latest period.

"Tourism already earns more foreign exchange for New Zealand than any other single industry and it has yet to reach its full potential. However, to encourage and manage further growth, the industry needs a clear strategy and vision.

"This Government is committed to the development of a National Tourism Strategy. This strategy is aimed at maximising the positive impacts of Tourism, while minimising negative environmental and social impacts. I have already met with many tourism operators as this new strategy must be driven by those in the industry," Mr Burton said.

"The vision is to grow a tourism industry that is sustainable on four levels: economic, environmental, social and cultural. The Government wants to enhance the capacity of the tourism industry to sustain and generate wealth. We must protect the environment by identifying and understanding the impact of tourism. We must encourage wide community support for tourism through inclusive development strategies. And we must recognise, respect and promote the uniqueness of New Zealand, it's culture and its people."

Contact: Chris Roberts (press secretary) 04 471-9773 or 025 270-9012

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