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Statistics excellent news for tourism sector

Latest visitor statistics excellent news for tourism sector

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is welcoming Statistics New Zealand’s latest external migration survey, saying that it is a clear indication that New Zealand’s tourism sector is recovering from the impacts of the SARS virus.

The figures show a drop of only three percent in visitor arrivals when compared to June 2002. This is a significant improvement over the May 2003 numbers, which reported a drop of 13 percent.

Mark Burton says that the survey is excellent news for the industry.

“This is a very positive result, and the best sign yet that the sector is moving back towards positive growth mode. Although the numbers are still slightly down for the month of June, they are down in comparison to 2002—a record year for New Zealand tourism.

“Another positive sign is that key markets such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States all showed significant increases in visitor arrivals.

“This survey is indeed very positive news for our tourism industry. New Zealand has not escaped the challenges of SARS and the war in Iraq completely unscathed, but the impact thus far has thankfully been relatively modest.”

“There is, however, absolutely no room for complacency as we move forward. The entire sector must continue to work together to build a truly sustainable tourism industry, one that strikes the right balance between industry growth and the care, protection, and enhancement of our unique culture and environment.”

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