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Overseas visitors spending more and loving it

November 20, 2002 Media Statement

Overseas visitors spending more and loving it

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton has just released the International Visitors Survey to September 2002, and the figures are looking good.

The survey, conducted for the Ministry of Tourism by NFO New Zealand, shows that foreign exchange earnings from New Zealand’s overseas travellers now contribute nearly $6 billion to our economy—up 14 percent on last year, and 95% since 1997.

And 88% of all our international visitors say they will be coming back for another visit.

Mark Burton is thrilled by the survey’s results.

“Tourism is big business in New Zealand, and it has an even bigger future. Events like the America’s Cup, The Lord of the Rings, and the Discovery Channel’s soon-to-be-released Royal Tour are all showcasing New Zealand’s spectacular landscape and breathtaking adventure to an international audience.

“Moreover, Tourism New Zealand has been working hard to promote New Zealand as the Pacific’s most unique and sophisticated destination. By marketing our culture and arts, as well as our stunning natural environment, we will become known worldwide as a sophisticated, world-class, year-round destination.

“Tourism New Zealand is encouraging visitors to experience uniquely New Zealand events, including the Wild Foods Festival, the International Festival of the Arts, the World of Wearable Arts Awards, Pacifica, Masterclass Wine and Food, and the L’Oreal New Zealand Fashion week,

And, according to Mark Burton, the world’s perception of New Zealand is changing.

“New Zealand has recently been featured in Vanity Fair, as well as being named as one of the top ten destinations in the world on the front cover of New York magazine. New Zealand has also been profiled in overseas publications like Travel & Leisure, Food & Wine, National Geographic Adventure, UK Tatler, and Wanderlust.

“Tourism already accounts for 10% of New Zealand’s GDP, and, in keeping with our Tourism Strategy 2010, we aim to grow this figure while protecting our natural heritage through sustainable tourism. By broadening our image overseas, we can encourage travellers to visit at different times of the year, to see a variety of locations, to stay longer and to spend more.

“The figures released today indicate that we are well on the way to achieving this aim.”

ENDS


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