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Research project great news for tourism sector

Research project great news for tourism sector

The Ministry of Tourism is undertaking a three-year research project into the impacts of tourism on New Zealand’s infrastructure.

The project, which has just received $500,000 in funding from the Cross Departmental Research Pool (CDRP), will explore strategies to maximise the benefits of the fast-growing tourism market, while minimising any negative impacts.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is strongly supportive of such a study.

“New Zealand’s tourism market is in the midst of an unprecedented boom, and forecasts indicate strong growth trends for the future. This project will identify and assess the implications for New Zealand of hosting an additional thirty-three million international and domestic visitor nights per year by 2008.

“It is vital that a lack of infrastructure or resource constraints do not limit the potential of the tourism sector. But it is absolutely essential that such growth does not generate undesirable outcomes for New Zealanders, or damage and degrade our unique environments.

“Our challenge is to balance sector growth with care, protection, and enhancement of our natural environments. It is to encourage all those who choose to travel throughout New Zealand—both domestic and international guests—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 to spend more.”

The Ministry of Tourism will take the lead in forming a steering group of key government departments to guide the project, including the Ministry of Economic Development, the Department of Conservation, Local Government New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs, and Te Puni Kokiri.

“By involving a cross-section of departments, this project offers an opportunity to undertake a co-ordinated, whole of government approach to the complex issue of long-term sustainability in the tourism sector,” said Mark Burton.

“This research will provide both the government and the industry with the quality information they need to make key decisions about resourcing the necessary infrastructure to support this vibrant industry.

“We have the great good fortune of time enough to manage the challenges presented by tourism’s strong growth, but the time to do it is now.”

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