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Wine-Tourism Conference Organisers Congratulated

PM Congratulates Wine-Tourism Conference Organisers


Prime Minister Helen Clark today congratulated organisers of the inaugural Wine Tourism Conference.

Helen Clark was speaking at the conference at Montana's Brancott Winery, in Marlborough, this afternoon.

"Like all good ideas, one can only wonder why combining these two industries in this way was never undertaken before!

"Both the wine and tourism industries have seen significant growth in recent years, and both play a crucial role in branding New Zealand in international markets.

"The magnificent sauvignon blanc wines produced here in Marlborough are a match for anything the Old World can produce, and I am told that our pinot noir wines, such as those from Martinborough, are heading the same way. These products are a shining symbol of New Zealand excellence, and a magnet for visitors interested in wine and associated activities.

"Indeed, it is this overlap between the wine and tourism industries which gives this inaugural conference its driving force. Your focus on issues such as quality standards, product development, ways of co-ordinating the two industries and sustaining the two is entirely sensible.

"There is a growing recognition that visitor interest in wine is a very important catalyst to the undertaking of tourism activities. For example, tourists who come to Marlborough or Martinborough or Hawke's Bay to experience the wine trails there spend money on restaurants, accommodation, car rentals and other goods and services, as well as the wonderful wine itself.

"For its part, the government has taken a number of steps to support growth in the tourism industry as a whole.

"A New Zealand tourism strategy is being developed, following years during which the industry relied on an ad hoc approach to planning, management and funding. The group working on this strategy will report back by March next year.

"We have also established the Tourism Research and Forecasting Council to ensure the provision of better quality tourism research, information and forecasting.

"With two hundred or more delegates expected at this year's conference, I wish you all the well and congratulate you on your efforts in this exciting new area," Helen Clark said.


Ends

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