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Industry applauds National’s commitment to tourism

29 October 2008

Media Release

Industry applauds National’s commitment to tourism

The commitment shown by the National Party to New Zealand’s tourism industry comes at a critical time for the multi-billion dollar sector, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Tim Cossar says.

“Increased support for tourism, which delivers $24 million in foreign exchange to New Zealand’s economy every single day of the year, is vital as we face the challenges of the global financial situation,” Mr Cossar says.

Mr Cossar was in Queenstown for the release of National’s tourism policy by party leader John Key.

“The tourism industry is delighted that National’s tourism policy recognises tourism’s importance as a transformation industry for New Zealand. A robust partnership between the tourism industry and central government is essential to growing New Zealand’s economy and enhancing ‘Brand New Zealand’,” Mr Cossar says.

Today’s policy release comes at a time when both international and domestic tourism have become more challenging.

“This is definitely not business as usual for our industry. If we don’t act now, it will be harder to maintain the market share New Zealand tourism exports enjoy today.”

National’s tourism policy reflects many of the tourism industry’s major priorities for the incoming Government outlined in the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto (www.tianz.org.nz) released last month.

National Party leader John Key reiterated today that he will take on the tourism portfolio and boost funding for tourism if he becomes Prime Minister. Having the portfolio held by a high-ranking Minister was a top priority in the Manifesto.

“This would put the tourism industry in its rightful place at the Cabinet table, alongside industries like agriculture and forestry, as a major foreign exchange earner,” Mr Cossar says.

National’s policy also supports other major priorities in the Manifesto, including:
 international marketing support with a focus on high-yielding visitors
 taking advantage of large international events, including the Rugby World Cup 2100, to maximise New Zealand’s exposure in key markets
 investment in vital infrastructure used by travellers.

Mr Cossar said he looked forward to seeing other parties’ tourism policies. TIA would continue to advocate for the tourism industry to the incoming government in
the post-election period.

Top priorities in the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto
The tourism industry is calling for the incoming government to:

1. Recognise tourism as a bedrock of New Zealand’s economy - Establish a Tourism Industry Taskforce to drive a whole-of-government approach to issues affecting the industry and ensure the tourism portfolio is managed by a top ranking Minister.

2. Market Destination New Zealand - Increase public sector investment for targeted offshore promotions to markets of strategic importance to New Zealand and for improved marketing efforts in the domestic market.

3. Invest in vital infrastructure - Invest in a national convention centre, cruise ship port facilities and other infrastructure improvements required to reduce seasonality and increase spending from visitors to New Zealand.

4. Improve New Zealand’s environmental performance - Enhance New Zealand’s environmental performance and the capabilities of its tourism industry to deliver on the 100% Pure New Zealand brand promise.

5. Invest in training and work skills initiatives - Ensure New Zealand’s tourism businesses have the people they need to do business and to deliver a high quality visitor experience.

6. Boost the return from major events - Maximise the return to New Zealand of the Rugby World Cup 2011 and other major event opportunities.

Read the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto at www.tianz.org.nz


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