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Canterbury gets its share of tourism - Image

13 August 2004

Hon Jim Anderton,
MP for Wigram, Progressive Leader

Canterbury gets its share of our top earner - tourism

Tourism’s role as the number one export dollar earner makes sense for Canterbury.

Wigram MP Jim Anderton says tourism industry data shows the partnership between the government and the Canterbury tourism operators is paying off, with foreign and domestic visitors generating extra income for the region.

Mr Anderton says that around 247 tourism accommodation providers report data in the Christchurch, Banks Peninsula, and Waimakariri council areas.

The number of local reported guest nights has increased by 26%, from around 2.6m in the year to May 2000, to around 3.2m in the year to this May.

“International visitors last year spent nearly $7.5b in New Zealand – an average of more than $3,300 each – earning more foreign exchange than the dairy industry.”

Spending in Christchurch by international visitors is forecast to increase by 91% from $727m in 2002 to $1391m by 2009.

“Every dollar spent by a visitor, be they Kiwi or Korean, helps create extra jobs and boosts returns across our region.”

Jim Anderton says the growth of tourism from big fish to whale is no fIuke.

“In 2001, the government got the public and private sectors working together for the first time on a vision for the future. We want to balance economic gains with preserving our environment – that’s a prime drawcard for international visitors.”

The just-launched Tourism Planning Toolkit helps local authorities to evaluate and plan tourism opportunities.

“We’re encouraging visitors to come year round and to visit lesser known areas.

“More than three million international visitors are predicted by the end of the decade. Our challenge is to continue to attract our share – and ensure visitors leave only their footprints and a wish to return,” said Jim Anderton.

Data source: Tourism Research Council of New Zealand: www.trcnz.govt.nz

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