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A record month for New Zealand’s tourism sector

21 May 2004

A record month for New Zealand’s tourism sector

New Zealand welcomed 184,400 international visitors arrivals in April 2004—a record 23 per cent increase on April 2003, and 28 per cent up on April 2002.

This is the highest month-on-month percentage increase in well over a decade.

Tourism Minister Mark Burton says that these results clearly illustrate the sector’s strength.

“2003 was a year marked by some very real challenges, including SARS, international conflict, and a rising New Zealand dollar. It’s a year in which we could have lost ground—as so many countries did. Instead, it was the year that saw New Zealand emerge as an international success story, achieving increases in visitor numbers, expenditure, and total guest nights, and outstripping 2002’s record figures.

“Today’s figures show that 2004 is shaping up to be yet another outstanding year,” said Mark Burton.

Arrival figures were released as the industry prepares for Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand 2004—New Zealand’s largest trade show. Next week, over 400 international buyers will meet with close to 450 tourism exhibitors from around New Zealand, generating an estimated 28,000 appointments.

Mark Burton stressed the importance of this event.

“TRENZ is a landmark on our annual tourism calendar, offering New Zealand operators an unparalleled opportunity to begin new relationships and strengthen long-standing business links. It is also a chance to reinforce to the international travel sector the exceptional innovation, quality, and variety of tourism products on offer. And that is precisely what exhibitors, industry leaders and I will be doing.

“The record number of international buyers attending TRENZ this year is proof positive that New Zealand is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Exhibitor numbers, too, are at a record level—a clear indication that the industry is not resting on its laurels. On the contrary, the sector remains focused on having an ever more diverse range of products on offer for our guests.

“Clearly, tourism remains one of New Zealand’s premiere industries, and an economic powerhouse,” said Mark Burton.

The Statistics New Zealand External Migration survey can be viewed at www.stats.govt.nz.

ENDS

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