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October a winner for New Zealand's tourism sector

Thu, 21 Oct 2004

October a winner for New Zealand's tourism sector

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It's been another great month for tourism in New Zealand, and Tourism Minister Mark Burton is congratulating the entire sector.

The latest External Migration Survey, released today by Statistics New Zealand, shows that 161,200 visitors came to New Zealand in September 2004-nine per cent up on the same month last year.

But Mark Burton says that this increase in visitor numbers is just one measure of the industry's success.

"This month alone, New Zealand has been 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.

"October also saw the release of the latest international visitor expenditure figures-$6.5 billion in the year ended June 2004. That's an impressive 4.2 per cent increase on the year ended June 2003, and a continuation of tourism's strong growth trend.

"Add in the most recent Accommodation Survey, which showed a four per cent increase for August 2004 in comparison to August 2003 and growth in guest nights for 11 out of New Zealand's 12 region, and it's clear that the sector continues to be a key driver of economic growth and employment around the country."

Mark Burton says that 2003 has been an outstanding year for the industry overall, particularly in terms of New Zealand's international profile.

"Readers of premiere travel publication Condé Nast last month named New Zealand as the third best destination in the world. In May, New Zealand won the Guardian & Observer's People's Choice award for best long-haul travel destination for the fourth time, as well as winning gold for the first-ever New Zealand entry in the Chelsea Flower Show.

"This year, Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) won the international public relations award for destination marketing by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International in New York and the 2004 Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Grand Award for Marketing for their work on the successful 100% Pure New Zealand campaign, as well as gold for their official website, www.newzealand.com.

"New Zealand is clearly one of the world's premiere destinations. I congratulate the entire sector for these achievements."

External Migration and Accommodation Surveys can be viewed at www.stats.govt.nz

ENDS

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