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International visitor expenditure up again

13 October 2004

International visitor expenditure up again

International visitors injected $6.5 billion into the New Zealand economy in the year ended June 2004—an impressive 4.2 per cent increase on the year ended June 2003, and a continuation of tourism’s strong growth trend.

Tourism Minister Mark Burton says he is delighted with the figures, which were released today by the Ministry of Tourism.

“It’s been another excellent year for New Zealand’s thriving tourism industry. Now our number-one export earner, the sector continues to be a key driver of economic growth and employment around the country.

“Right now, tourism directly and indirectly supports one in eleven jobs. My Ministry is currently conducting a study into the sector’s work force requirements to 2010. Although the research is only partially complete, early results show that tourism will need an additional 120,000 people by the end of the decade. That’s a lot of opportunity for a lot of New Zealanders—and that’s only if we maintain the market’s current situation. I believe that the New Zealand tourism sector is likely to outperform forecasts.

“Australian guests spent $1.3 billion in the year to June—up 19.6 per cent. Spending by visitors from the UK increased 5.2 per cent to $940 million. With the Lions rugby tour on the horizon for 2005, New Zealand looks set to reap millions of dollars of tourism revenue as well as sending thousands of advocates for New Zealand back to the UK.

“The performance of the Japanese and Korean markets (up 3.2 and 61 per cent respectively) shows that New Zealand has indeed recovered from the impacts of the SARS virus in 2003.

“Latest figures show that 11 out of New Zealand’s 12 regions showed an increase in guest nights for August, with visitor numbers up 12 per cent in the same month. Just yesterday, New Zealand was named the number-one holiday destination for readers of UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph—knocking Italy out of the top spot it has held for four years running.

“Clearly, tourism remains a winner for New Zealand.” For further information, please see www.trcnz.govt.nz. Visitor numbers and accommodation figures are available on www.stats.govt.nz.

ENDS


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