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Change of home for the Office of Tourism and Sport

30 June 2000 Media Statement

From DIA to MED – a change of home for the Office of Tourism and Sport

The Minister of Tourism Mark Burton says a major development in ensuring that tourism is at the heart of the government's economic and regional development programme, takes effect from the 1st of July.

The Office of Tourism and Sport has been moved from the Department of Internal Affairs to the new Ministry of Economic Development.

OTSp is a specialist semi-autonomous policy advice unit. Mr Burton says its placement in MED is indicative of the crucial role it has to play.

"Tourism is a key driver of the New Zealand economy. There has been encouraging growth in tourism over the past decade. Tourism employs at least 118,000 New Zealanders – that's one job in 12 - and the industry has become the country's largest single earner of foreign exchange.

"The challenge now for the government and the industry is to ensure that future growth is economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

"OTSp has an important role in working with the Tourism Industry Association and Tourism New Zealand on the development of a National Tourism Strategy. A key goal of the Strategy will be to strengthen regional economic development.

"OTSp is also helping to co-ordinate the government's new research initiative, the Tourism Research and Forecasting Clearinghouse.

"The placement of OTSp within the Ministry of Economic Development is a recognition that tourism is a dynamic and key contributor to the country's economic well-being, with enormous potential that has still to be realised," Mark Burton said.


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