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Guest nights reach all-time high

Guest nights reach all-time high

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is today welcoming a new record of 3.94 million guest nights in January 2003. The figure, released today in Statistics New Zealand’s latest accommodation survey, exceeds the previous record of 3.89 million, which was set in January 2002.

Mark Burton is delighted that the underlying trend in guest nights is still on the rise, especially when viewed in conjunction with other recent survey results.

“This is a great start to the year. Both the Government and the industry are continuing to focus on building a sustainable, yield-driven tourism sector. We are encouraging guests in New Zealand to stay longer, increase their spend, and visit not only the traditional spots, but venture out into all regions.

“These figures show that this strategy is working. Six of our regions achieved record increases in guest nights in January. In addition, recent statistics show that, in this same period, international visitors increased their average length of stay from 26 to 28 days.

“Visitor yield is also 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 the same period.

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

Mark Burton stressed that the potential of tourism as a contributor to the New Zealand economy could not be overemphasised.

“Tourism is providing New Zealand with some of the most exciting and valuable economic opportunities available. But the sector’s current success makes for some very real challenges. It is essential to keep finding ways to balance a healthy rate of growth with care, protection and, wherever possible, enhancement of our natural and made environments. “This Government will keep working in partnership with the sector to make appropriate choices for both the industry and New Zealand.”

Full survey results are available on http://www.stats.govt.nz.

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