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Minister comments on visitor numbers

21 November 2001 Media Statement

Minister comments on visitor numbers

The fall in international visitor arrivals during October was not unexpected, the Minister of Tourism Mark Burton said.

"The government will continue to work alongside the tourism industry to manage our way through this period."

Total arrivals for the month were down by 3 percent compared to October last year.

The biggest decline was in visitors from the USA and Japan.

Visitor numbers from the United States and Japan declined by 20 percent compared to the previous October.

Other markets continued to perform strongly. China was up by 62 percent, and Korea by 34 percent.

"These figures show how different markets have had quite different reactions in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks in the USA," Mark Burton said.

"Tourism New Zealand has adjusted its marketing spend, to ensure that taxpayers' money is going where it is most useful. And my office is continuing to liaise with the Tourism Action Group, which is doing excellent work in monitoring the situation and keeping the industry informed.

"New Zealand remains a very attractive destination, and the changed global situation has had a less dramatic impact here than in many other countries.

"However, international arrivals are likely to be below forecast right through the summer. This should to some extent be compensated for by an increase in domestic tourism.

"After several years of outstanding growth the tourism industry is facing new issues, but the medium term prospects are still very positive," Mark Burton said.

Note: Mark Burton leaves on Monday 26th November for Japan, where he will meet with senior government and tourism industry officials, and visit the JATA Travel Mart in Tokyo, where New Zealand will have a significant presence.


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