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Mark Burton--International Visitor figures well up


Mark Burton--International Visitor figures well up on last year

Minister of Tourism Mark Burton is pleased by this month's survey of international visitor arrivals, released today by Statistics New Zealand.

September 2002 saw visitor arrival numbers rise to 130,085. This increase of nearly 4 percent shows that New Zealand's international reputation as an attractive, year-round destination is continuing to grow, Mark Burton said.

However, he also reinforced that New Zealand's tourism industry still faces a drastically changed global outlook towards international travel. Recent events in Bali have reinforced the need for ongoing assessment of emerging international situations, with prepared strategies in place for co-ordinated crisis management.

"When the events of September 11 occurred in 2001, many doubted that the tourism sector would recover. But I knew that by drawing on the solid partnerships this Government has built with the industry, recovery was possible.

"In the period immediately following September 11, key tourism sector representatives worked tirelessly with the Government, under the co-ordination of Tourism New Zealand, to carefully promote New Zealand's global reputation as a safe, friendly tourism destination.

"As a result, New Zealand was able to mobilise a swift, well-coordinated response. And by January 2002, unlike most other global destinations, we were back onto a growth path. Throughout 2002, the outlook for tourism has remained positive.

"This work continues in the face of Sunday's tragedy in Bali.

"Clearly, there may be an impact in New Zealand over the coming months. As Minister I will continue to work closely with the industry to maximise the opportunities to protect New Zealand's share of the global tourism market."

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