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Greens Blinkered Over Tourism Award

The narrow-minded attack on the tourism industry's annual awards programme by Green Party co-leader, Rod Donald, should sound a dire warning to New Zealand tourism operators, National's Tourism spokesperson David Carter said today.

"Instead of celebrating the fact that Sky City Casino - the country's single most visited paid tourist attraction - walked away with the supreme award, Rod Donald has attempted to prick the balloon by attacking the whole awards programme.

"Sky City won the supreme award on its merits. One in every three of our international visitors make a visit to the casino complex and Rod Donald seems to forget that they go there because they want to.

"Is he going to start telling visitors what they are allowed to enjoy when they come to this country?

"Rod Donald has attacked the casino for having nothing unique or desirable to offer. Yet the award judges praised Sky City for its 'entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking' and for 'demonstrably providing an outstanding visitor experience'.

"The Government, supported by the Greens, is already attempting to tell New Zealanders what they should watch on television, what they should listen to on the radio and even what they should think about issues. Is this now going to extend to telling our international visitors what they should visit as well?" asked David Carter.

Ends

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