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Tourism Bonanza Possible From America's Cup 2003

The next America’s Cup series in 2003 has the potential to provide even greater returns for the New Zealand tourism industry thanks to stronger government support.

The Minister of Tourism Mark Burton said that while the America’s Cup Economic Impact Report highlights the tangible financial benefits of the event, the Cup also provided priceless opportunities to promote New Zealand as a desirable visitor destination.

"Tourism New Zealand set up a Media Resource Unit at the Viaduct Basin during the America's Cup series. This allowed us to leverage off the many international journalists visiting our country, to help us convey to the world New Zealand's appeal as a desirable visitor destination.

"The return to New Zealand was enormous. Over 300 journalists and film crews were hosted and shown various parts of the country. They were provided with story ideas, film footage and photos. The effort certainly paid off. Journalists here primarily to cover the America's Cup wrote destination pieces that appeared in publications such as the New York Times, the Melbourne Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, the International Herald Tribune, the London Times and more.

"Tourism New Zealand is building on the relationships that have been developed to continue raising New Zealand’s profile in the international media. Last week I opened a permanent International Media Resource Centre in Auckland. This dedicated, year round resource for international journalists is a very cost-effective method of promotion – to use an old cliché, it generates the sort of publicity that money can't buy."

Mr Burton said is important to ensure that all our regions benefit from the international visitors attending the next America’s Cup series. "A long lead time into the next America’s Cup series means we have even more opportunity to promote all of New Zealand to our yachting visitors."

Mr Burton said investment has already begun, with $5 million of funding for Brand New Zealand (a partnership between Tourism New Zealand and Trade New Zealand) to support Team New Zealand and the promotion of the America’s Cup.

"The Government will leverage off this investment for the wider benefit of trade and tourism. Tourism New Zealand and Trade New Zealand have already begun a programme of activity to ensure we further maximise the benefits of the next America’s Cup in 2002/2003," Mark Burton said.

Ends

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