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Tourism’s in for a hot summer

19 November 2004

Tourism’s in for a hot summer

The New Zealand tourism sector looks poised for another record-breaking year.

Today’s External Migration Survey shows that 181,400 visitors arrived in New Zealand in October 2004—nine per cent up on the same month last year. Tourism Minister Mark Burton says that, coupled with a seven per cent increase in guest nights in September, all indications point to continuing healthy sector growth.

Speaking from Taupo where he had just officially re-opened the newly refurbished, 115- year old-Terraces Hotel, Mark Burton says that New Zealand’s tourism sector is going from strength to strength.

“We have welcomed over two million guests in both 2002 and 2003. In the year to March 2004, international visitors spent $6.3 billion in New Zealand. And 2004—the year tourism officially became our biggest export earner—looks as if it will be our biggest year yet.

“The industry’s success is no accident. It is underpinned by the strong government/sector partnerships we have built over the past five years, as well as by our shared goal of building a truly sustainable tourism market for New Zealand—one that balances tourism’s obvious economic benefits with the care, protection, and wherever possible, the enhancement of our natural and cultural environments.

“The sector is making great strides towards reaching this goal. Next week, Kaikoura will become the first town in the world to gain full certification from Green Globe, the only global tourism certification programme—an absolutely outstanding achievement.

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“To earn Green Globe certification, Kaikoura adopted zero waste policies, looked at its CO2 emissions, and had to measure its environmental performance against energy, water use, solid waste production, water quality, resource conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, air quality, travel, tourism and biodiversity. They met all performance targets, and are an excellent example of the sector truly putting quality at the heart of the sector.

“The industry continues to focus on attracting Interactive Travellers—guests who are well educated, regularly travel overseas, and quite often sport a relatively high level of discretionary income. These visitors are looking for unique, authentic experiences that involve real interaction with both people and environments, and they are as keen as we are to protect the very attributes that brought them here in the first place.

“I believe that our innovation, drive, and dedication is going to keep New Zealand on top of the international tourism game for some time to come. And it’s those very same qualities that will see us achieve our goal of a long-term, sustainable tourism sector.”

External Migration and Accommodation Surveys can be viewed at www.stats.govt.nz

ENDS


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