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Tourism investment will help safeguard jobs

Tourism investment will help safeguard jobs

Significant investment in international marketing and tourism infrastructure, along with encouraging New Zealanders to holiday at home are the tourism industry’s top priorities for Friday’s Job Summit.

These are among the actions the tourism industry is announcing today and is eager to see emerge from Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key’s Job Summit.

As one of New Zealand’s largest employers and leading export sectors, tourism can be a significant player in helping to safeguard New Zealanders’ jobs and lead New Zealand out of the downturn, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Tim Cossar says.

“With one in ten New Zealanders (181,200 jobs) employed either directly or indirectly in tourism, it is clear that by keeping the tourism industry strong, we keep New Zealanders in jobs,” Mr Cossar says.

“It is important that these jobs are protected. Failure in the tourism industry would have a strong negative impact on employment nationwide, across a range of sub-sectors and at a regional level. Protecting this skilled workforce will ensure that when the global economy improves, New Zealand’s tourism industry is ready to meet accelerated demand.”

The tourism industry is encouraging the Government to focus on international marketing, to maintain and build visitor demand, Mr Cossar says.

Short term tactical campaigns will stimulate arrivals, hedging against further declines while providing cash-flow for tourism businesses.

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“Domestic marketing should also be an important new focus to encourage New Zealanders to recognise the great tourism experiences New Zealand has to offer and to support New Zealand tourism businesses by choosing a holiday at home,” Mr Cossar says.

“Our industry is suffering from a slowdown in international spending with figures released today by the Ministry of Tourism showing that spending by international visitors fell by 3.2% to $5.9 billion last year.

“Returning tourism to growth is an opportunity, not only for those in the tourism industry but for all New Zealanders,” Mr Cossar says.

Top tourism priorities for the Job Summit - all of these outcomes contribute directly to safeguarding jobs.

International and domestic markets:

1. Investment in short term tactical marketing campaigns, especially in Australia, to stimulate tourism activity, fuel immediate visitor arrivals and hedge against further visitor declines.

2. Continue investment in other key traditional markets, especially the United Kingdom and the USA to ensure New Zealand doesn’t lose its market share at this critical time.

3. Set up a Joint Venture Marketing Fund for new and emerging markets such as India, South America, the Middle East and some European countries such as Spain, Russia and France.

4. Invest in a national domestic marketing campaign to stimulate domestic tourism, national confidence and pride in our country.

Infrastructure:

5. Stimulate the economy, New Zealand businesses and New Zealand jobs through increased spending on major tourism infrastructure projects with a positive return on investment, including the development of a national convention centre in Auckland, improved cruise ship port facilities and possibly increased investment in New Zealand’s conservation estate, which underpins New Zealand’s 100% Pure positioning.

Bank terms and liquidity:

6. Work with leading banks to improve credit and liquidity for New Zealand businesses, many of whom are experiencing cash flow pressures, especially tourism SMEs (small and medium enterprises). Feedback from tourism operators suggests some banks are not providing the support they could be for our tourism SMEs in these tougher economic times.

TIA has consulted the industry widely to determine these priority actions, which are among a range of other initiatives also under consideration.

ENDS

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