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100% Pure — More than just words

4 March 2004 Media Statement

100% Pure — More than just words

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is today calling for the entire tourism sector to put sustainability at the heart of the industry.

Speaking at the Green Globe Sustainable Tourism Conference, Mark Burton said that a long-term future for tourism in New Zealand would demand an ongoing commitment by both government and the industry.

“Tourism’s importance to New Zealand cannot be overstated. This economic powerhouse 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 our second largest foreign exchange earner—poised to take over from dairy as number one within the next two years.

“2003 was another record year for our tourism sector, with over two million international visitor arrivals for the second year in a row. Even better news is that while international visitor numbers are predicted to grow by 5.7 percent annually to 2009, visitor expenditure will increase by 9.7 percent—nearly double the growth in arrivals.

“Visitor figures for January 2004 showed an 11 percent increase on 2003, translating to an extra $60 million in foreign exchange earnings to New Zealand’s economy.

“But with success comes responsibility. We must continue to work together to build a sustainable, yield-driven industry—one that strikes a balance between managing the impacts of tourism on the environments of our unique nation, and reaping its potential economic benefits.

“New Zealand markets itself as a 100% Pure, quality destination. This powerful image has created a compelling message worldwide about what the New Zealand experience is really about—authenticity. The 100% Pure campaign, particularly in its ongoing leveraging off the Lord of the Rings films, is cutting through the deafening noise of the international tourism market to gain world attention. People know who we are, and they want to experience New Zealand for themselves.

“We must deliver on this image. The future of the industry rests on all tourism operators adopting sustainable practices in every aspect of their business, and in ensuring that New Zealand’s tourism product is always of exceptional quality.

“New Zealand is too small and too distant to ever focus on volume-based tourism. We will never be the world’s cheapest destination—nor should we want be. Rather, we must put our energies toward becoming the world’s most sought-after destination—sophisticated, beautiful, and culturally diverse.

“As Minister of Tourism, I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the sector to achieve this goal,” said Mark Burton.

ENDS

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