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Accommodation sector continues to boom

Accommodation sector continues to boom

Tourism continues to deliver economic benefits across New Zealand, says Tourism Minister Mark Burton, and he’s got the numbers to prove it.

According to the latest Statistics New Zealand Accommodation Survey, total guest nights increased by four per cent in August 2004 in comparison to August 2003—1.9 million guest nights in total. Total guest nights were up three per cent in the North Island, and six per cent in the South Island. Eleven out of New Zealand’s twelve regions recorded an increase, with Canterbury and Otago up 24,000 guest nights and the Bay of Plenty up 15,000.

“This is an excellent result, particularly in the light of New Zealand being named last night as the favourite holiday destination for readers of UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph ,” said Mark Burton. “New Zealand tourism is widely seen as an international success story, and it’s great to see the sector rewarded.

“But the sector’s success is no accident. In my almost five years as Tourism Minister, I have seen a strong partnership develop between the government, local government, and the wider tourism sector—a relationship that underpins tourism’s ongoing achievements. It’s a partnership we have all worked hard to build.

“This government remains committed to continuing our work with industry on quality and sustainability, both of which are key to ensuring the industry’s long-term future.

“Last week, I attended the graduation of New Zealand’s second ever group of tourism apprentices. Across New Zealand, we now have close to 7,000 Modern Apprentices working in 31 different industries and businesses. Our new Skills Package outlines funding for 8,500 Modern Apprentices by June 2005. In addition, nearly 127,000 New Zealanders were in industry training last year, compared with 81,000 four years ago. Clearly, we are working closely with a wide range of industries to address skill shortages.

“I have also recently announced a Tourism Scholarship fund to boost sector research, the second series of Business Class (the successful TV series for tourism businesses), funding to promote awareness and utilisation of the Ministry of Tourism/ Local Government New Zealand Tourism Planning Toolkit, and funding towards a major three-year $1.4 million research programme that will examine the areas that contribute to tourism yield.

“These investments are paying off with positive growth in both international visitor numbers and visitor expenditure. Combined with our strong domestic figures, tourism remains a premiere industry for New Zealand.”

The full survey is available on www.stats.govt.nz.

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