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Strong tourism performance contributing to growth

21 June 2002 Media Statement

Strong tourism performance contributing to economic growth

New Zealand continues to experience strong growth in international visitors, and the tourism sector is making an increasingly valuable contribution to the New Zealand economy, Tourism Minister Mark Burton said today.

"International visitor arrivals in May were 6.5 percent up on May last year. Seven of our top ten markets experienced growth. The remarkable growth of the China market continued, up by 51.3 percent on May last year, while the South Korea and United Kingdom markets also delivered strong growth of 21.4 and 14.8 percent respectively. Growth has also continued in New Zealand’s biggest market, Australia.”

"For the first five months of 2002, international visitors arrivals were up by 5.1 percent.

“New Zealand is enjoying stronger visitors growth than many countries, for example, the March quarter saw growth of 7.8 percent, compared with 4.6 percent growth experienced by Australia.”

"From day one this government has got alongside the tourism sector and worked in partnership, which enabled us to respond quickly to the severe challenges that were posed by the tragic events of September 11 and the global decline in travel last year.

"As a result, international visitors numbers in 2001 were up by 6.7 percent and, importantly, total visitor spend was up 9.8 percent, to $5.2 billion dollars.

"It is clear from the performance in the first 5 months of this year that this vital contribution to our economy will be significantly exceeded in 2002.

"A Labour government will continue to promote sustainable growth in tourism through proactive assistance and practical policies committed to building the quality of the New Zealand tourism sector," Mark Burton said.


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