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Nelson tourism expected to double over five years

Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Tourism

19 July 2005 Media Statement

Nelson tourism expected to double over the next five years

Visitor nights in the Nelson/Tasman region to the Nelson region are expected to increase by 1.8 million to 4.8 million by 2010, Tourism Minister Mark Burton said today.

Those visitors were expected to bring $649 million a year by 2010 – representing 57.5 per cent growth, Mr Burton said at a Nelson/Tasman Region Tourism Industry meeting today.

Mark Burton was in Nelson to open the new Millers Acre Centre, which houses a number of tourism-related business and organisations including the Nelson i-SITE, Latitude Nelson and the Nelson Bays Arts Marketing Network, as well as attending the tourism industry meeting.

International visitors would account for 62.6 percent of the expected growth, and 57.6 per cent of the growth in the total spend to 2010, he told participants at the tourism industry meeting.

Mark Burton noted that seasonality was one of the issues the region faced, with 60 per cent of all guest nights and arrivals during the peak season of December to March.

The challenge for Nelson tourism is to spread the season further into the Autumn and Spring months to ensure fewer peaks and troughs and a sustainable tourism industry.

"This region definitely has great appeal as a destination across all seasons – it offers a pleasant climate and presents visitors with many authentic cultural experiences set in a stunning natural environment and is close to the capital city.

Quality was at the heart of a sustainable tourism industry, he said.

"Visitors who share good memories and experiences are our most effective ambassadors for New Zealand. They give word of mouth advertising that we couldn't buy even if we could afford to spend the millions of dollars it is worth. So constantly striving to improve the quality of the visitor experience is a crucial goal for us. The new Millers Acre Centre will, I am sure, do just that, Mark Burton said.

ENDS

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