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Accommodation survey shows steady tourism recovery

10 October 2003 Media Statement
Accommodation survey shows steady recovery for tourism

New Zealand’s accommodation sector remained steady for the month of August, according to Statistic New Zealand’s latest Accommodation Survey. Guest nights totalled 1.9 million for the month, equalling the figure for August 2002.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is welcoming the survey, saying it is a clear indication that the tourism sector is well on the road to recovery in the post-SARS period.

“2002 was a record year for New Zealand tourism. In the light of the very real challenges the sector has faced over the past 12 months, this is an excellent result. The industry has responded very well, and their hard work and prudent management is paying off.

“Tourism is on track to end the year in positive growth mode. Visitor numbers for August 2003 showed two percent growth over August 2002, with visitor numbers for the year ended August 2003 showing an increase of four percent.

“Latest Tourism Research Council forecasts also indicate that the industry’s future is on the right track, with our guests staying longer and spending more. Tourism yield is growing at nearly double the rate of visitor numbers—a factor which is key to securing a sustainable, long-term future for the industry.

“And New Zealand’s tourism sector has recently been honoured by several high-profile awards. Last month, New Zealand was voted the UK’s favourite holiday destination for the third time running by the readers of premier UK travel publication Wanderlust. In addition, four New Zealand luxury lodges were awarded places on the top ten list of International Resort Hideaways in the authoritative Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report for 2003.

“New Zealand’s tourism sector already generates close to ten percent of New Zealand’s GDP, is directly and indirectly responsible for one in eleven jobs, supports over 15,000 businesses, and is one of our largest earners of foreign exchange. With its ongoing focus on quality and sustainability, the sector is becoming even stronger, with the potential to make an even stronger contribution to the New Zealand economy.

“These reports, along with today’s Accommodation Survey, illustrate the success of this government’s partnership with the industry, in attracting high value, high yield international visitors. New Zealand’s tourism sector is indeed alive and well, and I congratulate the entire tourism sector for their outstanding work.”

The full survey is available on www.stats.govt.nz.

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