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More promotion of domestic tourism

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Hon Mark Burton
Minister of Tourism

24 August 2005 Media Statement

More promotion of domestic tourism


Labour will be working with the tourism industry during its next term in government to encourage more New Zealanders to experience the attractions in our own country, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Tourism Minister Mark Burton said today in Taupo.

"Tourism is a major contributor to the New Zealand economy, with annual export earnings of $7.4 billion," Helen Clark said.

"It supports one in 10 jobs in New Zealand. International visitor arrivals reached 2.25 million in 2004, an increase of 46% since 1999. Their spending increased 78% from 1999 to June 2005.

The strong growth in tourism over the past five years has been no accident, Mark Burton said.

"Labour came to government with a clear vision for the tourism industry. We worked with key industry players and wider stakeholders to develop a clear, shared direction resulting in the launch in 2001 of the Tourism, Strategy 2010. We pledge to continue the collaborative relationship and work together on skills and training, quality assurance, and on the development of a sustainable, prosperous and profitable industry.

"Following the tremendous success and growth in international visitors, it is now important to work to boost domestic tourism. The high value of the Kiwi dollar has given New Zealanders a lot of options for travel, so it's important now to promote the good reasons for holidaying at home.

"Domestic tourism has been a strong foundation for our tourism industry, contributing $9.8 billion of the total tourism spend in the year ended March 2004.

"In its third term Labour will speedily convene a working group of tourism industry representatives and key interest groups on promoting domestic tourism, and we will fund an action plan. Funding will be made available from within the existing baselines of Vote Tourism, which totals $86.4 million this year.

"Labour wants to see more New Zealanders taking advantage of our beautiful country, not just in the summer months but for all year-round get aways, and not just in the well known tourist spots, but off the beaten track as well.

"In recent years we have seen the growth of innovative tourism marketing in the regions. Many regions are maximising their key points of difference, whether it be through cultural tourism, wine trails, or other initiatives.

"We have on our own doorstep quality tourism experiences which it's important New Zealanders know more about," Mark Burton said.

ENDS

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