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People are at the heart of tourism success

27 May 2004
Media Statement

Innovation, passion, and drive — people are at the heart of tourism success

After four days and an estimated 28,000 appointments, Tourism Minister Mark Burton has given participants at New Zealand’s largest trade show the night off.

Tourism Rendezvous New Zealand 2004, organised by the Tourism Industry Association, attracted record numbers, with 409 international buyers, 447 New Zealand exhibitors, and 63 media from New Zealand and overseas.

At the closing ceremony, Mark Burton called the event a “spectacular success,” emphasising the role of individual tourism operators in the sector’s continued growth.

“I spend a lot of time congratulating the tourism industry, and this is an ideal opportunity to do it again. New Zealand’s operators keep the industry strong— providing our visitors with unique experiences they can’t find anywhere else. The high level of industry commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation has been clearly illustrated this week.

“2003 was a year marked by some very real challenges, including SARS, international conflict, and a rising New Zealand dollar. Yet it was also the year that saw us emerge as an international success story, achieving increases in both visitor numbers and expenditure, and outstripping 2002’s record figures.

“This government has built strong partnerships with the tourism sector, and we continue to invest in Tourism New Zealand and Qualmark. Last week, I announced new funding of $11 million for a Tourism Water and Sewerage Subsidy Scheme, which will assist some of New Zealand’s smaller communities to fund the basic infrastructure needed to support our growing regional tourism market. And five of New Zealand’s regions are currently being funded to develop their own, unique cultural tourism opportunities—one of the sector’s most exciting areas.

“At the heart of New Zealand's tourism success are our people. When we look at the industry’s leaders, we find innovators and entrepreneurs who give us world-leading experiences in environmental tourism, adventure tourism, fine wine and food, fashion, culture—and we find these people at every level. As operators, your passion and drive means our guests get world-class experiences they could not find anywhere else. New Zealand must never settle for anything less.

“I congratulate you all for your outstanding work. You have certainly earned the right to celebrate!”

ENDS

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