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International guests staying longer

International guests staying longer

Statistics New Zealand’s latest report on International Visitor Arrivals is further evidence that New Zealand’s tourism industry is still thriving.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is welcoming the report, which shows an increase of 8 percent when compared to January 2002. It also indicates an increase of 15 percent on the total number of stay days, and an increase in the average length of stay 26 to 28 days.

But he also stresses that the current success of tourism in New Zealand presents challenges for the entire sector.

“I see tourism as nothing less than New Zealand’s most exciting and potentially valuable industry. But our unprecedented tourism growth means that the sector is currently facing the very real challenge of balancing a rapid rate of growth with care, protection and, wherever possible, enhancement of our natural and made environments.

“It is essential to encourage all those who choose to travel throughout New Zealand—whether they are domestic visitors or international guests—to go beyond the boundaries of a traditional tourist experience and explore the extraordinary range of opportunities New Zealand has to offer.

“We must effectively encourage them to visit at different times of the year, to try a greater number of products, to stay longer, to explore a wider range of locations, and, of course, to spend more. The long-term future of our vibrant tourism industry depends on it.”

Mark Burton is impressed with the sector’s progress towards achieving this goal.

“Visitor yield is growing significantly faster than visitor numbers. Recent projections by the Tourism Research Council indicate that while international visitor arrivals will increase by an impressive 6% per year to 2008, visitor yield is projected to grow by close to double that rate, or 72% in that same period.

“By 2008, this is projected to translate to $9.7 billion added to the New Zealand economy.

“This Government will continue to work in partnership with the sector to make appropriate choices for both the industry and New Zealand. Together, we can realise the potential of building a truly sustainable, high-quality tourism industry for New Zealand.”

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