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Working together for even greater success

18 February 2004 Media Statement

Working together for even greater success

Statistics New Zealand’s year-end figures confirm that 2003 was a record year for New Zealand’s tourism sector. For the second year in a row, New Zealand has seen over two million international visitor arrivals, with a three percent increase on 2002’s record high.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton said he was “overwhelmed” by the sector’s achievements in 2003, particularly given the very real challenges it faced.

“In a year marked by terrorist events, international conflict, and the outbreak of the SARS virus, finishing the year even with 2002 would have been outstanding. To see a significant increase of three percent is truly remarkable.

“This is no accident. Government and the industry have worked closely together to bolster New Zealand’s international image as a sophisticated, desirable, world-class destination, offering a unique mix of culture, adventure, and pristine environments.

“The government has worked with Tourism New Zealand to leverage off such high-profile events as the Lord of the Rings trilogy and Whale Rider. We have also implemented a regional programme to develop our lucrative cultural tourism market, and allocated significant extra funding to extend the successful 100% Pure campaign in key markets such as the United States.

“New Zealand has gone from a virtually unknown player in the highly competitive world of international tourism to seeing TNZ honoured in New York City last month. Out of a field of 1500 competitors from over 50 countries, TNZ won a top international public relations award for the 100% Pure campaign.

“Two of New Zealand’s luxury lodges were named among the world’s best in this year’s prestigious Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report. Premiere travel publication Conde Nast last year named the Auckland Hilton as one of the top ten hotels in the Pacific region. And in January, the staff at Lonely Planet named New Zealand as the world’s best destination for the second year in a row.

“Tourism already supports one in eleven jobs, contributes nine percent of GDP, and is second only to dairy in export earnings. By continuing to work in partnership with the sector, the future of this exciting and valuable industry will see even greater successes.”

The full survey (External Migration) can be viewed at www.stats.govt.nz.

ENDS

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