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Tourism industry welcomes new minister

Media Release

Tourism industry welcomes new minister

19 October 2005

Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Fiona Luhrs has welcomed Hon Damien O’Connor as the new Minister of Tourism.

“I look forward to working with Mr O’Connor to further the interests of the tourism industry and its position as New Zealand’s top export sector,” Ms Luhrs said.

Mr O’Connor’s appointment came as the industry was facing a number of significant issues including workforce and skill shortages, the need for increased funding for Tourism New Zealand, issues surrounding domestic tourism, and balancing visitor growth with sustainable use of conservation lands.

Ms Luhrs planned to meet Mr O’Connor at the earliest possible date to discuss these and other tourism industry issues.

She also welcomed the return of Hon Dover Samuels as Associate Minster of Tourism. Mr Samuels is well known and appreciated in the industry for his contribution to the development of the Maori tourism sector.

Ms Luhrs also paid tribute to the outgoing Minister of Tourism, Hon Mark Burton, saying the industry had enjoyed a very positive and constructive relationship with him during the last six years.

“I would like to thank Mark for all his efforts on behalf of the tourism industry and wish him well with his new Cabinet responsibilities,” she said.

TIA’s key recommendations to the incoming government can be read at: www.tianz.org.nz


Key statistics about tourism:
- Tourism is the world's fastest growing industry
- New Zealand tourism arrivals have doubled in size since 1994
- Forecast annual growth is 6% on average for at least the next five years
- Tourism is New Zealand's single largest export sector and contributed $7.4 billion dollars to the economy in the year ended March 2004. That is 18.5% of exports
- Tourism directly and indirectly employs 10 percent of the work force. That is one in 10 jobs in New Zealand.
- Tourism represents 9.6% of gross domestic product and generates nearly $500 million in GST returns from international visitors each year. Tourism is the only export sector whose international clients pay GST.

ENDS

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