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Tourism Management Recognised As World Class

16 March 2004 Media Statement

New Zealand tourism management recognised as world class

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is today congratulating the New Zealand tourism sector for once again being honoured as world leaders.

New Zealand features twice in the first ever global assessment of sustainable tourism practice. The South Island has been ranked second in the world, with the Bay of Islands placed seventh.

The survey was conducted by National Geographic, in conjunction with Leeds Metropolitan University and in consultation with 200 travel experts.

“This is absolutely outstanding,” said Mark Burton. “A key factor in assessing the rankings was tourism management— a crucial element in building a truly sustainable tourism sector, and one that both government and the industry prioritised in the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010.

“The Ministry of Tourism is working with the Department of Conservation and the industry as a whole to develop an integrated approach to managing our tourism assets. At the same time, Tourism New Zealand continues to market New Zealand to the kind of high-value, low-impact visitors, who will allow us to achieve the goal of maximising tourism’s obvious economic benefits, while protecting, preserving, and, wherever possible, enhancing the natural and cultural environments of New Zealand.

“Tourism’s potential for economic benefit is huge. International visitor expenditure already represents 15.7 percent of our export earnings—second only to dairy and poised to take first place very shortly. Combined with domestic earnings, the sector overall contributes $15.2 billion per annum to our economy—nine percent of GDP and growing.

“Even better news is that while international visitor numbers are predicted to increase by 5.7 percent annually to 2009, international visitor expenditure will increase by 9.7 percent in that same period—nearly double the growth in arrivals.

“New Zealand continues to reap the rewards of this government’s partnership with the tourism industry. For the last four years, we have worked with the sector to ensure that long-term strategies are in place to actively promote and manage sustainable tourism. This is in marked contrast to the divisive interference of the last batch of National Ministers of Tourism—a style of working I might add that seems increasingly to be the hallmark of the National Party.

“Today’s outstanding results clearly illustrate which way brings more benefit to New Zealanders.”


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