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Tourism contribution to NZ increasing strong

Tourism contribution to New Zealand increasing strongly

The growing contribution of tourism to the New Zealand economy has been measured in the latest Tourism Satellite Account for the year ended March 2002.

"This official data reinforces the hugely significant role tourism plays in New Zealand. Tourism is a key driver of the New Zealand economy and an industry that continues to sustain a highly impressive pattern of growth", said Minister of Tourism Mark Burton.

Mr Burton was commenting on the release today of the "Provisional Tourism Satellite Account 2000-2002". The Tourism Satellite Account programme is funded by the Ministry of Tourism and undertaken by Statistics New Zealand.

Highlights from Provisional TSA2002 include:

· Total Expenditure - total tourism expenditure reached $14.6 billion in 2002. Of this expenditure, international visitors spent $6.2 billion and domestic visitors $8.3 billion.

· Contribution to GDP - the direct and indirect value-added contribution to New Zealand GDP increased to $10.2 billion in 2002, or 9% of New Zealand's GDP. This measure essentially deducts imports used and GST from the total expenditure figure above.

· Employment - the direct and indirect employment supported by tourism was 150,000 in 2002. Ninety thousand people are directly employed in tourism industries, with indirect employment estimated by the Ministry of Tourism to be 60,000 based upon 1999 TSA ratios. Tourism supports 9.2% of New Zealand's total employment.

· Export Earnings - export earnings from international tourism were $6.2 billion in 2002, or 14.3% of New Zealand's total export earnings. This makes tourism New Zealand's second largest export industry, behind the dairy industry (which in the same period generated exports of $7.4 billion or 16.9% of export earnings).

Since the first TSA in 1997 underlying growth pattern has been most impressive, with an overall increase of 27% in expenditure over the six-year period and, most significantly, international expenditure having increased by 43%.

"The value in having the tourism industry officially measured is that there can be no doubt about its role in the economy. For central and local government, tourism businesses, the financial sector, and others, this is essential information that is used in a vast array of commercial, resource allocation and policy decisions.

"For communities, this data is vital for setting out how tourism, in a very real and tangible way, contributes positively to peoples lives through the jobs and business opportunities that tourism supports.

"The government's commitment to tourism is based upon this large and growing contribution, and on its sustainable development as being advanced through the implementation of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010.

"These are remarkable figures for which the tourism industry can be rightly proud".

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