By James Wilkinson in Auckland
New Zealand’s tourism industry has been given a NZ$30 million (AUD$24 million) boost by the government, as the country continues to chase the Australian travelling dollar.
NZ Prime Minister John Key
The country’s Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, John Key, announced the 2010/11 financial year funding increase at the New Zealand Hotel Industry Conference in Auckland this morning (May 13) to a round of applause by leading hoteliers in attendance.
The funding increase comes on the back of a NZD$20 million boost last year and takes the government’s injection to the tourism industry to just under NZD$100 million.
“This investment is vitally important,” Key said. “It reflects my confidence in the industry to substantially increase the value of tourism to the New Zealand economy.
“We will do this by focusing on high-value visitors who require a high-quality experience while in New Zealand,” he said.
Key said NZD$25 million of the funding would be used to target international visitors, in particular those from Australia, China and the United States.
“I have always believed tourism has the potential to grow far beyond the status quo and this funding will help give that belief wings,” he said
“We have the raw materials in our beautiful scenery, we have the commitment of an industry that is continually striving for excellence, and now we have the funding to sell that message even more strongly all over the world.
”Tourism already makes a significant contribution to New Zealand’s economy and I am confident the extra funding I’m confirming today will ensure that continues,” Key said.
The remaining NZD$5 million of the additional funding would be allocated to joint venture initiatives, the Prime Minister said.