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Tourism industry welcomes working holiday visas

MEDIA RELEASE

13 June 2000

Tourism Industry will be boosted by increase in Working Holiday Visas

The Tourism industry today welcomed the Government decision to double the number of working holiday visas to 20,000. Tourism Industry Association (TIA) Chief Executive Glenys Coughlan said that the announcement would see more money spent in New Zealand by backpackers, which would benefit the whole economy.

"Backpackers already earn New Zealand over $300 million a year, and the doubling of those here on working holidays will see that figure increase further, which is good for our economy.

"Backpackers, and those here on a working holidays, tend to visit less traditional tourist areas as well, so the benefit will impact positively on all regions of New Zealand - not just the traditional tourist spots."

Ms Coughlan said that young people on working holidays did not take jobs from New Zealanders - indeed evidence suggested that they plugged shortages in local labour markets.

"They tend to take unskilled seasonal work, like fruit picking and bar work, where employers often have trouble finding New Zealanders to fill the vacancies. ?./more

"As well, these visitors tend to spend what they earn in New Zealand, which benefits the local economy as well.

"The tourism industry and the Backpacker Accommodation Council have been lobbying for this increase for a while, as it is a great way of enticing young people from overseas to come to New Zealand early in their lives, have great experiences, and then return many times throughout their lifetime.

"It will have a positive impact for tourist operators, as well as the wider economy," Ms Coughlan said.

ENDS

More information: Simon King, Manager, Government and Media Relations (04) 494 1845, (025) 807 252

The Tourism Industry Association represents 3,500 businesses and organisations within the tourism industry Members include airlines, airport companies, and regional tourism organisations, rental car, coach and taxi companies, inbound tour operators, travel agents, adventure tourism operators, accommodation providers, tourism attractions, researchers, training organisations and tourism services providers Tourism is New Zealand's largest export earner - accounting for 16 % of this country's export earnings The Tourism Industry Association organises the New Zealand Tourism Conference, TRENZ and the New Zealand Tourism Awards


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