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King Country investing in tourism

King Country investing in a long-term plan for tourism

Minster of Tourism Mark Burton is impressed by the King Country’s vision for the future.

News that the Development King Country Trust has just received $100,000 to invest in local tourism has been welcomed by the Minister. The funding, granted through Industry New Zealand’s Regional Partnership Programme, will be used to get local operators to work together to achieve long-term sustainability in the King Country’s already booming tourism sector.

Mark Burton stressed the importance of a continued focus on the long-term future of tourism.

“Investing in a sustainable tourism sector is one of the most important moves a region can make. Currently, domestic tourism brings an annual return of nearly $7 billion, and our international guests added nearly $6 billion into the New Zealand economy in 2001. In total, tourism comprises 10% of New Zealand’s GDP, and the sector is growing fast.

“Our success in the tourism sector hasn’t happened by accident. It is driven by the ongoing commitment of both the industry and the Government to working in partnership.

“Stakeholders in the Waitomo Museum of Caves have already benefited from this. Since 1999, they have received over $73,000 from the Tourism Facilities Grants Programme. This funding has been used to upgrade the museum’s displays and interpretation facilities, to better serve the 500,000 guests who visit the museum each year.

“I’m pleased to see King Country businesses working together to maximise the far-reaching benefits of tourism for the entire region.”

Mark Burton also reinforced that it is vital to encourage growth in more than just numbers.

“New Zealand’s long term interests lie in striking a balance between the economic benefits of tourism and a focus on protecting, preserving and enhancing our core environmental values and assets.

“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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