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Davis: Time for Key to deliver for tourism

26 May 2009
Media Statement

Davis: Time for Key to deliver for tourism


Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key needs to ensure that the tourism industry receives substantial new money in Thursday's Budget, says Labour Tourism spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“Tourism is our biggest export earner, and when global economic conditions are tough, as they are now, the sector needs government support. Tourism adds billions to our economy and is rich in the sort of jobs we need to preserve and create,” Kelvin Davis said.

“We have seen a large increase in the number of visitors from China following targeted funding provided by the last Labour Government, and huge benefit from a $2.5m promotional campaign in Australia.

“Promoting New Zealand in our key markets is vital not just for the industry, but for our whole economy,” Kelvin Davis said.

“When you are a destination as distant as New Zealand is from many countries, it becomes even more important in recessionary times for the Government to invest in promotion intelligently and strategically. We need to be actively encouraging people to want to come here.”

Kelvin Davis said New Zealand’s promotional drive also needed to become more innovative in tough times. “We need to be thinking outside the square. Last week, for example, the Entrepreneurs’ Summit brought forward potentially brilliant suggestions to boost our tourism sector.

“The Prime Minister took on the tourism portfolio because he thought he could deliver best for the industry,” Kelvin Davis said.

“Now is his chance to prove himself. There may be little change left for overseas promotion after the PM shells out $50 million for his cycleway, but I know what offers the best return for our investment.”

ENDS

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