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Tourism industry's vital importance to NZ

6 September, 2006

Results demonstrate tourism industry's vital importance to New Zealand

Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor has welcomed the publication today of figures showing that the impact of tourism on the New Zealand economy continues to grow.

The Tourism Satellite Account 2005, published by Statistics New Zealand, showed tourism expenditure in New Zealand reached $17.5 billion for the year ended March 2005, up from $17.2 billion the previous year.

Mr O'Connor said tourism has long been a powerhouse of the New Zealand economy, and the increase in spending to a record level provides further reinforcement of this.

Other key figures from the TSA include:

- Export earnings of $8.1 billion – 18.7% of New Zealand’s exports
- 9% of GDP (direct and indirect)
- 176,000 jobs or 9.8% of employment
- $1.2 billion of GST receipts - $507 million by international travellers

"The result clearly demonstrates the overall strength of the industry. While the growth in tourist numbers and spend has flattened slightly over the past couple of years, industry performance is picking up as shown by the international visitor spend data released yesterday.

"This TSA result should boost the confidence of the industry, which, along with the government, is in the process of updating its overall strategy.

"The challenge remains to maintain growth in visitor spend by continuing to position New Zealand as a quality destination."

ENDS

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