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Tourism spend up despite tough times for industry

25 July, 2008

Tourism spend up despite tough times for industry

Data showing continued growth in spending by international visitors to New Zealand was welcomed today by Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor.

Tourism Ministry figures released today show spending by overseas visitors in the year to March 2008 reached $6.2 billion, up 2.7 percent on the previous year.

Mr O’Connor said international visitors are continuing to spend more year on year despite the increasing cost of travel worldwide due to rising oil prices.

“The figures provide strong evidence that even though the industry is facing some tough challenges, it continues to earn real wealth for the New Zealand economy. This comes off the back of figures showing New Zealand continues to be New Zealand’s number one export earner, contributing 18.3 percent of our exports.

“This goes to show that many people who choose to come to New Zealand are prepared to pay extra for the quality experience they expect and receive when they get here,” said Mr O’Connor.

Australians led the growth in spend, which increased by $249 million to $1.7 billion. The United Kingdom and Japan markets spend also increased. Spending was down in two key markets – the United States and Germany.

“While escalating oil prices are providing a challenge for tourism and every other industry in this country, it is a challenge faced across the globe. Our ability to compete will depend on delivering a better product than our competitors, ensuring we are environmentally, economically, socially and culturally sustainable.

“This spending result is the culmination of a huge amount of effort by thousands of companies and individuals who provide a vast range of products and experiences to our visitors on a daily basis," said Mr O’Connor.

For further information on the release of International Visitor Survey data visit the Ministry of Tourism research website www.tourismresearch.govt.nz.


ENDS

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