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Tourism Minister showcases NZ to Aust counterparts

Tourism Minister showcases New Zealand to Australian counterparts

New Zealand Tourism Minister, Hon Mark Burton, today hosted Australian Ministers, including the Hon Joe Hockey, Commonwealth Minister of Tourism, in their annual Tourism Ministers Council (TMC) meeting. Mr Burton chaired the meeting held in Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour.

The TMC is an annual meeting of the state and federal Ministers of Tourism for Australia and New Zealand. It is one of the several such sectoral meetings held each year by the Australian governments and New Zealand welcomes the opportunity to participate.

“I was delighted to assume the chair of the TMC for this year” said Mr Burton. “I welcomed the chance to return the hospitality that has been shown to me as I have attended previous TMC meetings. I could not pass up the opportunity to showcase Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour and its magnificent tourism product, especially with the start of the America’s Cup next month.”

That the meeting is being held on September 11 is important for the tourism industry. Ministers reflected on the tragic events of last September and the impact this had on victims and their families all around the world.

“The events of last September had a massive impact on the tourism industry globally. Here in New Zealand we saw a brief drop in the number of arrivals. However several factors, including the perception of New Zealand as a safe and friendly tourism destination and the co-ordinated and focussed response of the government and the industry, have led to a return to our underlying patterns of growth. Our Australian colleagues have not see such a rebound and they are facing the prospect of a $2 billion drop in earnings. New Zealand’s performance is a credit to the industry and the government”.

A key issue for discussion at the TMC was the 10 year plan being developed by the Commonwealth Government for the Australian tourism industry.

“Having gone through our own New Zealand Tourism strategy 2010 process so recently, it was interesting to see the issues that the Australian industry is facing. I was able to share some of our experiences in developing NZTS 2010 and talk about the implementation issues that we are facing. Certainly being able to point out the new branding on the VIN “i-SITE” visitor centre in the Viaduct Harbour, which was funded through the strategy implementation fund, gave a clear impression of our progress.

Next year’s meeting will be held in Canberra, Australia.

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