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Increased Tourism Infrastructure Needed for W'gton

11 May 2007

Increased Tourism Infrastructure Needed for Wellington

Today’s guest accommodation data from Statistics New Zealand demonstrates clearly Wellington’s tourism potential and shows the need for continued investment in the region’s infrastructure, according to the Wellington Regional Chamber of Commerce.

“The Wellington region recorded its highest monthly guest nights total since the survey began in July 1996. Guest nights for March were up 21,000 or 9% up on the same time last year. This is the third consecutive month that Wellington has recorded its highest monthly guest nights total,” said Chamber CEO Charles Finny.

“The Wellington region also had the second highest occupancy rate in the country (behind Auckland) with 69% occupancy.

“These figures show the increasing importance of tourism to the Wellington economy and the Wellington tourism industry, including Positively Wellington Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, Wellington International Airport Ltd, and the Wellington City Council, must be congratulated for this performance but the figures show how much potential growth remains.

“We can clearly grow out tourism industry further but to do so the Wellington region needs to rectify rapidly the infrastructure deficit it faces after years of insufficient investment particularly in the area of transport.

“Improved transport links to the region are essential to prevent potential international tourists bypassing the region. Improved domestic and international air links – including long haul flights are also crucial for Wellington.

“The processes slowing down the approval of the proposed new Hilton and other hotels as well as new attractions such as the Marine Education Centre on Wellington’s south coast are a concern. These approvals need to be sped up.

“Within the city, road congestion and parking problems need to be improved. In particular, we need immediate investment in improved links between the city and the airport.

“Wellington is recognised as the Events Capital of New Zealand with established events such as the IRB Sevens tournament, the World of Wearable Art and the X-Air bringing increased visitors and adding to our reputation.

“Investment in infrastructure is needed now if we are to meet the demands of future tourism growth and continue to attract such events and more visitors to the city,” Mr Finny concluded.

ENDS

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