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Budget 2013: $7m to improve visitor facilitation

Hon Michael Woodhouse

Minister of Immigration
 
21 April 2013
 
Media Statement

Budget 2013: $7m to improve visitor facilitation

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has announced that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is to receive $7 million over the next four years to help boost tourist numbers to New Zealand by improving visitor facilitation.

Mr Woodhouse says $5 million will be spent on ensuring that visa application information is available in languages other than English through the new Immigration Global Management System (IGMS), in order to support key foreign markets. In the first instance this capability will be built for the Chinese market.

The remaining $2 million will be used to partner with key stakeholders to improve visitor facilitation even further, while adequately managing risk.

“Increasing the number of visitors and migrants from new markets is a key priority to grow the economy,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Many of our fastest growing markets require travellers to have visas to enter New Zealand, so it is important that we help facilitate this process to encourage tourism, while adequately managing risk.

“That’s why the government is working closely with the tourism industry to develop a set of initiatives to help drive growth in the number of low-risk, high-value visitors from countries such as China.”

This includes work with Air New Zealand, Auckland Airport and China Southern Airlines to streamline visa processes for Chinese tourists, Mr Woodhouse says.

“This funding boost builds on recent initiatives to attract high value Chinese visitors, such as the extended 24 month multi-entry tourist visa and a new bi-lingual China section on the INZ website which makes it easier to lodge a visa application.

“Immigration New Zealand plays a major role in facilitating the increasing number of arrivals from China and this extra money will allow the development of further initiatives in the future.”

ENDS

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