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Key announces commitment to tourism sector

John Key MP
National Party Leader

29 October 2008

Key announces commitment to tourism sector

National Party Leader John Key today confirmed that if elected Prime Minister he intends to take the ministerial tourism portfolio.

He today addressed the Tourism Industry Association in Queenstown and commented on the release of National’s tourism policy.

“Tourism is responsible for about 9% of GDP, and it employs about one in ten working New Zealanders. So aside from anything else it is an industry that is particularly important in maintaining and boosting this country’s employment and growth prospects.

“There is also another reason why it interests me. Tourism is about celebrating New Zealand’s magnificent landscape, its wildlife, and its people.

“I would feel privileged to have the opportunity to be involved in promoting New Zealand overseas. There is a unique beauty in this country, something we are all rightly proud of.

“New Zealand the destination is one of the things in which I see us having a real competitive advantage over many other countries. Maximising that advantage is going to be crucially important to ensure we get through the current world economic challenges and on to a faster growth path

“There are many opportunities for New Zealand to forge ahead – provided we take a focused co-ordinated approach to our international activities.

“That’s why I believe there would be an obvious role for me to use the office of Prime Minister to pro-actively advance the cause of the New Zealand brand by leading our marketing activities.

“As part of that I will ensure that all our international agencies, be they Tourism New Zealand, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade, all work more closely together, effectively as the external arm of “NZ Inc’.

“I will be seeking a strong cross-agency focus on marketing New Zealand in all the major markets we operate in.

“A National Government will also work to maximise the brand benefit New Zealand can draw from hosting Rugby World Cup 2011. We will work with the organisers to ensure the success of the event as a fantastic opportunity to showcase New Zealand.

“The gloss has been coming off our tourism numbers in recent times as the world economy enters a recession. We are going to have to work a lot smarter, all of us, to keep the numbers up, and more importantly to maximise the economic return New Zealand gets from tourism and trade

“While times are getting tough right now, the future for tourism is bright. You are a vital part of the economic engine that drives New Zealand and you will be celebrated and encouraged by my Government.”

To view National’s tourism policy go to: http://national.org.nz/files/2008/tourism_policy.pdf

ENDS

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