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Tourists are injecting cash into Northland busines

Tue, 22 June 2004
Tourists are injecting cash into Northland businesses

The latest overseas visitor figures, showing record numbers coming to Northland, signal the region's ability to continue rising on the boom of tourist dollars, says Te Tai Tokerau MP, Dover Samuels. "There are more international visitors to Northland, they are staying longer and spending more than ever," said Dover Samuels.The latest figures show:·

Another rise in guest nights for Northland of 4.8 per cent during 2003 bringing the number up to 217,003 people.

There were nearly 300,000 short-term arrivals in New Zealand in December 2003, up 12 per cent on December 2002 and the highest monthly figure ever recorded for visitor arrivals.·

During the year to December 2003 there were 2.106 million visitor arrivals in New Zealand, up 61,300 from 2002.Dover Samuels says visitor arrivals are forecast to grow by 5.7 per cent annually across the country to 2009, and their expenditure is predicted to increase by 9.7 per cent over the year. Spending by international visitors already represents one dollar in six of export earnings.

Combined with domestic tourism, the sector generates $16.2 billion a year.Northland is proving its capacity to attract and hold visitors, said Dover Samuels. "We are starting to see the benefits in Northland of last year's $2m government grant to develop high-quality, sustainable tourism. Our challenge is to maintain quality and promote ourselves even more. Jobs and businesses here will then continue to grow.

"The next phase in the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 is for the government to provide leadership and partnership in building a strong cultural tourism market, develop regional tourist sites and to support local accommodation/tourism providers."Most of our art and cultural tourism enterprises are owned locally. The jobs created can be well-paying, satisfying and long term," added Dover Samuels.

"Alongside the economic benefits, the events and cultural attractions help define and enrich our identity as communities and as a nation. I am delighted that international tourists want to see our great country and even more pleased that they are spending money at our local businesses. We must nurture this," said the Minister.

ENDS

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