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National calls for SARS tourism response

National calls for SARS tourism response

National's tourism spokesperson Pansy Wong is calling on the Government to support the tourism industry in the wake of the SARS disease.

"Singpore, UK, Canada and Japan have all announced extra funding for tourism marketing and strategy to help their industries deal with SARS. The Australian MInister of Tourism has just announced $7.9 million of funding to target New Zealand and Japanese visitors back to Australia, as well as encouraging domestic tourism.

"The Government was able to find $34 million easily enough for the next America's Cup campaign, that doesn't start until 2007, on the grounds of supporting tourism. They could find a million dollars for a domain name, and are able to come up with money very easily for things like Maori TV and the opera and ballet. The impact of SARS on New Zealand's tourism should also be taken seriously.

"Tourism Minister Mark Burton has to put his money where his mouth is by showing geniune support to the tourism industry at a time when their confidence is in need of a boost. I am looking forward to a budget announcement on counter-SARS and post-SARS tourism strategy and promotional campaign," said Ms Wong.

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