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Visitor arrivals up 20 per cent

21 July 2004

Visitor arrivals up 20 per cent

Tourism continues its positive growth track, with 20 per cent more international visitor figures visiting New Zealand in June 2004—134,800 in total. The year on year figures for June 2003-June 2004 increased 10 per cent 2.25 million.

Results from the Asian market were particularly strong, with arrivals from Japan and China (up 82 and 184 per cent respectively) showing that the sector has recovered well from last years’ SARS outbreak.

“Tourism is, by any measure, a premiere industry for New Zealand,” says Tourism Minister Mark Burton. “We continue to see incredible growth in both in our international profile and visitor numbers. Even more important is our growth in visitor expenditure. Last year, international visitors spent a total of $6,383 million in New Zealand—close to four per cent up on 2002’s record figures.

“But international guests are only part of the picture. At over $8 billion, domestic spend on tourism still accounts for more than 50 per cent of the total sector value.

“Success like 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 market ourselves essentially as a scenic destination, we recognise that promoting ourselves on scenery alone—spectacular as our natural environments are—undersells the depth and variety of experiences New Zealand really has to offer.

“Only a few short years ago, New Zealand was not particularly well known as an international destination. Today, we are considered a premiere location, and one of the most sought after destinations in the world, with world-class food and wine, a wide range of quality accommodation, adventure tourism, wildlife, skiing, and unique cultural events.

“But neither government nor the industry can ever take our success for granted. As Minister of Tourism, I will continue to work with our thriving tourism sector to make the most of all opportunities to build on our already excellent international reputation.

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

ENDS


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