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Tourism is NZ's number one export industry

23 June 2004 Media Statement

Tourism is New Zealand’s number one export industry

The release today of the Tourism Satellite Account 2000-2003 confirms the official status of tourism as New Zealand’s number one export industry.

"This reinforces the vital contribution tourism makes to the New Zealand economy" said Tourism Minister, Hon Mark Burton.

"The Tourism Satellite Account represents the collective efforts of many New Zealanders in their businesses and in the workplace, and for that reason the tourism industry can be rightly proud of the remarkable figures set out in the Tourism Satellite Account."

The Tourism Satellite Account establishes total tourism expenditure in the year to March 2003 at $16.5 billion, comprising $7.4 billion of international expenditure and $9.1 billion of domestic tourism expenditure. This expenditure equates to direct and indirect value-added of $11.5 billion, or 9.6% of New Zealand’s GDP, and supports ad estimated 172,000 jobs, or 10.3% of New Zealand’s employment.

The underlying growth pattern since 1999 is impressive, with an overall increase of 34% in expenditure over the five-year period and, most significantly, international expenditure increased by 50%.

Critically, the $7.4 billion expended by international visitors amounts to 17.8% of New Zealand’s total exports of $42 billion. This compares to other major sectors, dairy products ($5.9 billion), the meat sector ($4.4 billion), forestry ($3.7 billion) and seafood ($1.4 billion).

“The contribution of tourism to our export earnings is the best indicator of the importance of tourism for New Zealand. These figures underline tourism's position as an economic powerhouse in the New Zealand economy." Mr Burton added.

The Tourism Satellite Account is prepared by Statistics New Zealand with funding from the Ministry of Tourism. The Tourism Satellite Account data can be viewed at www.stats.govt.nz.

Key Highlights from Tourism Satellite Account 2002

- Total Expenditure - total tourism expenditure reached $16.5 billion in the year to March 2003. Of this expenditure, $7.4 billion was by international visitors and $9.1 billion by domestic visitors.

- Contribution to GDP - the direct and indirect value-added contribution to New Zealand GDP increased to $11.5 billion in 2002, or 9.6% of New Zealand's GDP. This measure essentially deducts imports used and GST from the total expenditure figure above.

- Employment - the direct and indirect employment supported by tourism is estimated at 172,000 in 2003. The TSA generated the direct employment figure of 104,000, with the indirect employment estimated by the Ministry of Tourism to be 68,000 based upon 2001 TSA ratios. Tourism supports 10.3% of New Zealand's total employment.

- Export Earnings - the export earnings from international tourism were $7.4 billion in 2003, or 17.8% of New Zealand's total export earnings. This makes tourism New Zealand's largest export industry, ahead of the dairy industry (which in this period generated exports of $5.9 billion or 14% of export earnings).

- GST Payments - the government received revenue of $1.2 billion from GST payments by tourists in 2003. With other taxation revenues, such as PAYE and company taxes, contributing in line with overall tourism activity, tourism is a major contributor to the government's revenue base.

ENDS

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