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A Healthy Outlook For New Zealand Tourism

The Minister of Tourism Mark Burton says the release today of two key tourism sector research projects will greatly assist the tourism industry to plan for future development.

The Tourism Research Council New Zealand, a joint initiative by the Government and the tourism sector, has released its first research – a forecast of overseas visitor arrivals 2000-2006.

A Government-funded Domestic Travel Survey – the first for a decade – has also been released today.

"The TRCNZ has been established as a key initiative of the Government to address the chronic weakness of the tourism sector information base," Mark Burton said.

"The Forecasting project is an excellent example of the way the Council is able to generate authoritative and independent research. McDermott Fairgray Group were commissioned to carry out the research, qualitative input was used to balance the modelled forecasts, internal and external peer reviews were undertaken and all of this work was assessed by the TRCNZ Forecasting Technical Committee. Only then did the TRCNZ endorse the Forecasts for release.

“I believe that the result is a set of Forecasts of International Visitor Arrivals to New Zealand that will be instrumental in guiding the New Zealand tourism industry in the period to 2006,” Mark Burton said.

Highlights of the forecasts include:

 By 2006, New Zealand is forecast to receive 2.53 million visitors per annum (up from 1.73 million currently).
 This represents a 6.7% average annual growth rate.
 Of those visitors, the number coming to New Zealand on holiday is forecast to increase by 7.2% per year and grow from 820,000 to 1,331,000 arrivals.

“These figures clearly highlight the increasing contribution international tourism will make to New Zealand," Mark Burton said. "This growth will be provide many opportunities for New Zealanders to invest and work in the industry.

"The importance of domestic tourism must also be recognised. The Domestic Travel Survey released today is the first carried out since 1990.

"It shows that Domestic travel activity in 1999 was worth $6.9 billion, comprising
$4.1 billion spent on overnight domestic travel and $2.8 billion on day trips.

“Taken together, domestic and international tourism are an enormous driver of economic activity in New Zealand," Mark Burton said.

"We must all work hard to ensure that we are able to accommodate this growing demand with high quality, high value goods, services, products and infrastructure.

“In addition to the Forecasting project, the TRCNZ is also applying its rigorous processes to the updating of the Tourism Satellite Accounts and the Commercial Accommodation Monitor.

"I want to congratulate the chair Sean Murray and his TRCNZ team for their dedication to raising the quality of the information base of the tourism industry.

"This work will be critical to guiding the development of a sustainable tourism industry that will generate the best returns for New Zealanders.”


(The key findings of the two research projects are available from the Minister's office)

Contact: Chris Roberts [Press Secretary] 04 471-9773 or 025 270-9012
Ends

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