National: Tourism continues as big earner for Otago

PRESS RELEASE: National MP Jacqui Dean

Opposition Tourism spokesperson and Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said new tourism statistics, just released, show how significant the sector is to this region and this country’s economy.

Jacqui Dean

“Stats NZ released its Tourism Satellite Account Report, for year ended March 2017, and some of the figures are staggering.

“Tourism has generated an extra 21,000 new jobs around New Zealand, an increase of 9.3 percent, with the sector now employing about 231,000 people.

“This is reflected in tourism hotspots like Wanaka, Central Otago and the McKenzie Country where many businesses are employing extra staff to cope with increased visitor numbers.

“Wanaka, in particular has seen a huge increase in visitors, especially in the shoulder seasons.

“Lake Wanaka Tourism’s latest annual report, released last month, shows visitor spending up 17 percent in the past 12 months, a massive increase for the area.

“While nationally tourism spending reached $306 million for the June 2017 year, generating $3.3 billion in GST revenue.

“These figures show that tourism is a key export earner and that it is delivering direct economic benefits to our communities.

“A healthy and growing visitor economy also make communities more attractive for business investment – more new shops, more places to eat and drink, and more growth.

“I believe these latest figures endorse the investment made by the National Government, over several years, in promoting the tourism sector.

“As Opposition tourism spokesperson I am delighted at the positive benefits tourism is bringing and I am determined to ensure that the new Government continues to support this important sector.”

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