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Research bullish on tourism industry

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Thursday 7th December 2000

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New Zealand's international holiday tourism industry is forecast to grow by over 7% a year for the next five years according to new sector research.

Tourism companies, recently hit by lower-than-expected visitors for the much-hyped millennium celebrations and Sydney Olympics spin-off, can take comfort in the new figures which show international visitor numbers to New Zealand will rise to more than 2.5 million by 2006 compared to 1.73 million currently.

The number of visitors coming to New Zealand on holiday is forecast to increase by 7.2% a year, from 820,000 to 1.33 million by 2006.

Tourism Minister, Mark Burton, says the figures clearly highlight the increasing contribution international tourism will make to New Zealand.

"This growth will be provide many opportunities for New Zealanders to invest and work in the industry."

The research was the first to be released by the Tourism Research Council New Zealand, a joint initiative by the government and the tourism sector.

A new domestic travel survey has also been released, the first since 1990, showing domestic travel activity in 1999 was worth $6.9 billion, comprising $4.1 billion spent on overnight domestic travel and $2.8 billion on day trips.

"Taken together, domestic and international tourism are an enormous driver of economic activity in New Zealand," Mark Burton says.

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