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Accommodation boom offers opportunities for NZ

Accommodation boom offers opportunities for New Zealand

Statistics New Zealand’s latest survey of guest nights shows that accommodation continues to be big business.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is welcoming the results of the survey, which was released today.

“This survey is excellent news for the accommodation sector. Total guest nights for the year ended November 2002 showed an increase of 10 percent in comparison to the 2001 figures, and 15 percent higher than November 2000. Overall, the underlying trend in guest nights has been increasing since June 1998.

“Tourism is becoming a key driver of economic development in New Zealand. In 2001, our international visitors spent an average of nearly $3500 per person—adding up to an injection of nearly $6 billion into the New Zealand economy. That’s an increase of 95 percent since 1997. When combined with domestic tourism returns of nearly $7 billion, tourism represents 10 percent of New Zealand’s GDP.

“And in December, our travel sector reached a new milestone in international arrivals. New Zealand now hosts over two million tourists each year.”

But Mark Burton stressed that it is important to encourage growth in more than just numbers.

“Growth in visitor numbers is certainly a significant indicator of the market. However, New Zealand’s long term interests lie in striking a balance between the economic benefits of tourism and issues of sustainability. It is essential for both the industry and the Government to focus on protecting, preserving and enhancing our core environmental values and assets.

“All of our guests, whether they are Kiwis getting away for the weekend or international visitors on the trip of a lifetime, must be encouraged travel at different times of the year, to visit a greater number of places, to stay longer, to spend more, and to experience a wider range of products.” Overall, however, Mark Burton continues to be impressed by the tourism sector’s achievements.

“New Zealand’s successful tourism market hasn’t happened by accident. It is driven by the ongoing commitment of both the industry and the Government to working in partnership. It is crucial for both the public and private sector to continue to build and support New Zealand’s already dynamic tourism industry in a planned, co-ordinated and focused way.

“By working together, I believe that New Zealand can achieve the goal of a truly sustainable tourism sector.”

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