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Tourism continues to be a winner for New Zealand

Wednesday 12 May 2004

Tourism continues to be a winner for New Zealand

Tourism is an economic powerhouse that is delivering benefits across New Zealand, says Tourism Minister Mark Burton, and he's got the figures to prove it.

According to the latest Statistics New Zealand Accommodation Survey, guest nights increased by three per cent in March 2004-three million guest nights in total. Eight of New Zealand's 12 regions recorded increases, including Hawke's Bay/Gisborne (up 14 per cent), Canterbury (up nine per cent), and Bay of Plenty (up eight per cent). "New Zealand tourism continues to show outstanding growth. 2003 saw over two million overseas visitor arrivals for the second year in a row, and an impressive 3.9 per cent increase on 2002's record international visitor spend," said Mark Burton.

"In a year where the global tourism sector faced such major challenges as SARS, global conflict, and terrorism, New Zealand has emerged as an international success story. Very few nations will have seen positive growth in either visitor numbers or expenditure in 2003. We achieved both.

"Success such as this doesn't happen by 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.

"This work is certainly paying off. Tourism New Zealand continues to enjoy phenomenal success in marketing New Zealand to the kind of high-yield, high-quality visitors who are ideally suited to achieving this goal. The multi-award winning 100% Pure marketing campaign was most recently honoured at last month's Pacific Asia Travel Association, winning the Grand Award for Marketing and gold awards for the 100% Pure travel poster and their official website, www.newzealand.com

"And just yesterday, New Zealand won the Guardian & Observer's People's Choice award for best long-haul travel destination for the fourth time. No other country has won this award as many times, and it is testament to our success as one of the world's most sought-after destinations.

"Tourism is already one of our premiere export industries, and one with an almost limitless future. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the sector towards even greater successes."

ENDS


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