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A Good Start - But Don't Marginalise Tourism

BUSINESS FORUM A GOOD START - BUT DON'T MARGINALISE TOURISM

Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Glenys Coughlan congratulated business leaders and the Government on a positive business forum, but said she hoped those participating had not forgotten the important contribution that tourism is playing in New Zealand's economy.

"With 1 in 12 working New Zealanders employed in tourism, and the sector accounting for 16 % of New Zealand exports, we hope that the Government and those business leaders that did attend today's forum have factored in the importance of tourism to New Zealand's future.

"We agree with comments made by the Deputy Prime Minister that the debate is not about new economy versus old economy. Tourism spans both, and forecasts confirm that tourism will be even more important to New Zealand's future.

"While we understand there was a breakout session on branding New Zealand, as one of the leading drivers of economic development in New Zealand, tourism is more than just a marketing exercise. "The Government and industry have embarked on a unique partnership to formulate a Tourism Strategy for New Zealand, which will chart the course forward in the next decade for New Zealand's biggest industry.

"We are encouraged at the indications the Government has given on the clarification of rules on the tax treatment of R&D. To continue to grow, tourism needs more investment in areas like this, and any assistance the Government can give will be appreciated.

"In developing a vision for New Zealand's future, and addressing the type of business issues canvassed at this forum today, tourism must not be marginalised as a "feel good" industry, but must be seen as integral to creating wealth, driving innovation, employing new technology and creating even more jobs for New Zealanders," Ms Coughlan said.

ENDS

More information: Simon King, (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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