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Tourism showing steady progress across the sector

19 March 2004 Media Statement

Tourism showing steady progress across the sector

New Zealand’s tourism sector continues to go from strength to strength.

Figures released today show that visitor arrivals for February 2004 increased seven percent in comparison to the same month last year, according to Statistics New Zealand’s latest External Migration survey.

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton said that the figures were further proof of the tourism sector’s key role in the New Zealand economy.

“Growth in visitor numbers is only one positive indicator of industry success. Perhaps even more important is that while international visitor numbers are predicted to increase by 5.7 percent annually to 2009, their expenditure will increase by 9.7 percent in that same period—nearly double the growth in arrivals.

“Last week’s accommodation survey showed a five percent increase in guest nights in January 2004, with increases in 11 out of our 12 regions. The sector is driving economic growth throughout New Zealand—and it’s no accident.

“This government has been committed from day one to working in partnership with the sector to build a sustainable, yield-driven industry—one that strikes a balance between managing the impacts of our growing tourism sector and maximising its obvious economic benefits.

“Our marketing board, Tourism New Zealand, continues to enjoy phenomenal success in showcasing New Zealand to the kind of high-quality visitors who are ideally suited to achieving this goal. They have worked tirelessly over the past four years to promote New Zealand as one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, and the world is taking notice.

“New Zealand features twice in the first ever global assessment of sustainable tourism practice, in a survey released this month by National Geographic. The South Island has been ranked second in the world, with the Bay of Islands placed seventh. Both were cited for their 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.

“Only four short years ago, New Zealand was not particularly well known as an international destination. Now, our reputation as a premiere destination seems to be growing by the day.

“But neither the government nor the industry will ever take our success for granted. As Minister of Tourism, I will continue to work with the sector to make the most of our opportunities and find innovative solutions to ongoing issues of sustainability.”

ENDS

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