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Visitors Spend An Extra $469 Million

The vital role of tourism as an economic driver is demonstrated in the latest figures on spending by international visitors, Tourism Mark Burton said.

The International Visitor Survey shows that spending by overseas visitors was up by 9.8 percent in 2001, compared to the previous year.

"Actual visitor numbers last year were up by 6.9 percent, which means that visitors to New Zealand are, on average, spending more," Mark Burton said. "One of the key aims of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy is to improve yields, so this result is very encouraging.

"An estimated $5.236 billion was injected into our economy last year by visitors. That is a $469 million increase on 2000.

"These spending figures would have been even more impressive if not for the impact of the September 11th USA terror attacks which affected fourth quarter performance. The government worked with the tourism sector to manage and recover from the tourism slump at the end of last year, and the prospects are for another record year in 2002," Mark Burton said.

"The return in international visitor arrivals back to the growth path augers well for the future. The 3.5% increase in arrivals in January 2002 was modest, but it certainly sets the tourism industry back on the right track.

"Of great interest for the industry is the performance of our key markets. Australian visitors spent $946 million in New Zealand in 2001, a very significant increase of 10.3%. The United Kingdom increased by 18.8% to $708 million to become our third most valuable market. Other markets moved less, such as United States, but it retained its position as our second most valuable market at $768 million. The most adversely affected market was Japan, which declined by 11.9% to $645 million to drop to being our fourth most valuable market.

"This data reinforces the underlying growth trend of international tourism and the increasing contribution of tourism to the New Zealand economy," Mark Burton said.

The IVS results can be viewed at www.tourisminfo.govt.nz

Ends

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