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Building the value of international visitors

Building the value of international visitors

National is committed to tourism playing a strong role in the growth of the New Zealand economy, Prime Minister and National Party Leader John Key says.

"Tourism is our second largest export earner and National will work hard to ensure it continues to add to the growth of the New Zealand economy," Mr Key says.

"Our focus will be on attracting more high-quality international visitors and encouraging them to spend more money while in our country. We will also continue to promote New Zealand as a film production destination.

"National will continue to work with key partners and stakeholders to develop new major facilities such as the Cruise Terminal and SkyCity International Convention Centre in Auckland to bring jobs and high-value business travellers to New Zealand.

"We will also rebuild Christchurch as a tourist destination and gateway to the South Island," Mr Key says.

"Over the past three years, National has increased the investment in marketing New Zealand as a destination offshore by injecting an extra $67.5 million. We've also given Tourism New Zealand its first baseline increase since 2005," Mr Key says.

"We've also launched the highly-successful SmartGate automated passenger processing facilities at Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch International Airports.

"This system has been a phenomenal success. It has now processed nearly two million passengers, and more than halved the average processing time for passengers, making it a quicker and more convenient process.

"Despite the difficult conditions over the recent times with the Canterbury earthquakes, the volcanic ash cloud, and the global economic crisis, international tourism increased by 1.5 per cent and domestic tourism by 2.5 per cent in the year to March 2011.

"We will continue to grow our emerging markets in Asia and look for opportunities out of South America and open up more air routes to and from New Zealand. For example, this month China Southern started daily flights from Guangzhou to Auckland, which will be worth an estimated $150 million to our economy," Mr Key says.

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