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Tourism continues to be a winner for New Zealand

12 July 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 Statistics New Zealand’s latest Accommodation Survey proves it.

Guest nights increased by four per cent in May 2004 over the same period last year—1.8 million guest nights in total. Total guest nights were up one per cent in the North Island, and eight per cent in the South Island. The Canterbury region recorded the largest increase in guest nights (17 per cent), followed by Otago (up eight per cent) and Auckland (up seven 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. Where we used to see and sell ourselves solely as a scenic destination, we have come to realise that promoting ourselves on scenery alone undersells the depth and variety of experiences New Zealand really has to offer.

“More and more, the spectacular landscapes and environments which used to define New Zealand are becoming the backdrop for an ever-increasing range of sophisticated tourism products, aimed at an ever more sophisticated kind of guests. Today, around the regions of New Zealand, guests can choose from world-class food and wine, a wide range of quality accommodation, adventure tourism, wildlife, skiing, and unique cultural events.

“Tourism is our number one export industry. I look forward to continuing to work in partnership with the sector towards even greater successes.”

ENDS


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