Many New Zealand families will be making the most of their summer break to travel around the country, while many businesses will be gearing up for the busy tourist season, says Christchurch Central MP Nicky Wagner
“In Canterbury region, tourism expenditure has grown by 8.4% since October 2015 and visitors have spent $3,388 m. Nationally, tourism expenditure is forecasted to grow by 65 per cent to $16 billion in 2022,” Ms Wagner says.
“This growth is helped by our country’s strong economy. Typically 180,000 New Zealanders are directly employed in tourism. The tourism sector is now our greatest export earner and bigger than the dairy industry.
“We recognise the need to maximise the benefits of tourism growth while also balancing pressures on local communities and infrastructure challenges to maintain high quality visitor experiences.
“The Government’s tourism strategy is continuing the better coordination of government efforts and spending to support growth in the sector.
“In addition to the $130 million we spend on tourism each year, the Government is investing a further $45 million over the next four years. This includes $12 million in regional infrastructure so that communities can accommodate increased demand. We are also assisting regions to attract the right mix of visitors across all regions, all year round.
“The Government’s Tourism Growth Partnership makes available $8 million a year exclusively to support innovative tourism projects in our regions.
“The New Zealand Cycle Trail is another great example. The trail has seen more than a million users in the last year and has generated around $37 million in economic benefits for local communities in 2015.
“The Government is working hard so that more visitors can enjoy New Zealand’s unique tourism opportunities and that all New Zealanders see the benefits of tourism growth,” Ms Wagner says.