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New Zealand tourism—world leaders and proud of it

21 April 2004 Media Statement

New Zealand tourism—world leaders and proud of it

New Zealand’s current reputation as one of the world’s most sought after tourism destinations is no accident. It’s the result of years of hard work, according to Minister of Tourism Mark Burton.

Speaking at the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Conference in Korea, Mark Burton said that the industry’s success is about far more than The Lord of the Rings.

“Right now, New Zealand’s name is synonymous with Middle Earth. But, no one event—no matter how huge—can form the basis of a truly successful tourism sector. It takes strong, cross-sector relationships and innovative, world-class marketing solutions.

“In 1999, the government began to work closely with the industry to develop the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010—a plan for building a sustainable tourism industry that strikes a balance between managing the impacts of tourism on our unique nation and maximising its obvious economic benefits.

“During this same period, Tourism New Zealand developed the multi-award winning 100% Pure New Zealand campaign and refined our target customer to maximise impact.

“With this work as our foundation, the New Zealand tourism industry remained robust in the face of such international events as the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Bali bombing, SARS, and the war in Iraq. Our strong partnerships with the sector allowed us to respond to these events in a collaborative and coordinated way—the same relationships that enabled us to act quickly and efficiently to leverage off The Lord of the Rings and, more recently, Whale Rider, to raise international awareness of New Zealand as a premiere destination.

“Our successes to date prove that New Zealand tourism is no ‘one trick pony.’ But if we are going to maintain our reputation as one of the world’s most sought-after, premiere destinations, we have to keep our focus on those things that make New Zealand unique, and be absolutely committed to quality at every level. We cannot be all things to all people, nor would we want to be.

“When we look at our tourism sector, what we find are innovators who have given us world-leading experiences. We have them in environmental tourism, in adventure tourism, in fine wine and food, in fashion, in culture—we have them at every level. They make me confident that our tourism sector can lead the world.

“Why would we settle for anything less?”


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