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New Zealand tops the travel charts again

15 January 2003 Media Statement

New Zealand tops the travel charts again

New Zealand’s tourist market just keeps getting hotter and hotter.

Staff of the Lonely Planet travel guide, which publishes 650 travel guidebooks in 14 languages, have named New Zealand as the top travel destination for 2003.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton has greeted the news as “a great start to the New Year for New Zealand’s high achieving tourism sector.”

“We have worked hard with the industry to face some very real challenges over the past 15 months. This accolade is a fit recognition of the commitment to service and quality of so many New Zealanders working in this key industry.

“This Government and the entire tourism sector are equally committed to further building our New Zealand tourism market.

“Quality is the hallmark of that commitment.”

Mark Burton reinforced the industry’s achievements in 2002.

“We finished the year with an all-time high in visitor numbers, breaking the two million mark for the first time well before Christmas. Clearly, we are giving our visitors the kinds of experiences that we want, but there is no room for complacency.

“New Zealand is currently enjoying an ever-increasing profile with the huge success of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, publicity from the America’s Cup, and the Discovery Channel’s Royal Tour documentary. All of these have given us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase New Zealand to millions of viewers around the world.

“But in the end, looking after our visitors—ensuring they really do get the sort of memorable experience that leaves them wanting to return to New Zealand—this is in the hands of the thousands of New Zealanders who are the heart and soul of the industry.

“They should all see this as a pat on the back for a job well done.”


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