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Tourism driving steady growth across New Zealand

12 December 2003 Media Statement

Tourism driving steady growth across New Zealand

Tourism continues to be a steady driver of economic growth across New Zealand. According to the latest Statistics New Zealand Accommodation Survey, October guest nights show an increase of one percent in comparison to the record figures of 2002, and a seven percent increase on 2001.

Nine of New Zealand’s 12 regions recorded more guest nights in October, with Hawke’s Bay (up nine percent) and Bay of Plenty (up seven percent) leading the way.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is welcoming the figures, saying they are another clear indication of the vital role tourism continues to play as a driver of business activity, jobs, and economic growth throughout New Zealand.

“New Zealand’s tourism sector already contributes $16.2 billion per annum—with the inbound component of this representing an impressive 15.7 percent of our export earnings. With international visitor expenditure forecast to increase by 9.7 percent per year to 2009, the industry is poised to give dairy a run for its money as our number one export industry over the coming years.

“But none of this success has happened by accident, and none of it can be taken for granted. It has been driven by the strong partnership between government and industry, clearly evident in such projects as the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010, the recent cultural tourism development programme, and through such initiatives as the government’s investment in leveraging off such high-profile projects as The Lord of the Rings and Whale Rider.

“It is essential that we focus clearly on balancing the health of the tourism industry with the protection of New Zealand’s unique attributes. After all, we have guardianship of some of the most spectacular natural and made environments to be found on the planet—environments that are treasured by New Zealanders, and that many guests come halfway around the world to see.

“The long-term, sustainable future of our industry depends on the entire sector being absolutely disciplined in protecting and enhancing our unique attributes,” said Mark Burton.

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

ENDS

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