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NZ 2013 budget earmarks extra $158 mln for tourism: Key

Tuesday 16th April 2013

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Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key said an additional $158 million over four years will be earmarked for tourism in next month's budget.

Key told a business audience in Wellington that he will announce details of the funding at the TRENZ tourism conference this week. It will be part of the budget's theme for "a package of internationally focused growth initiatives."

"The package of funding will accelerate the work already underway in attracting high value tourists, and supporting and growing emerging and existing markets," he said.

"As my recent visits to China and Latin America have demonstrated, there is huge potential for New Zealand in these and other growth markets," Key said. "Achieving growth in tourism earnings requires targeted new investment to position New Zealand as a high-value destination in markets with real potential for growth."

Tourism generated $9.6 billion in the 12 months ended March 31, amounting for 3.3 percent of gross domestic product.

New Zealand visitor arrivals climbed 9 percent last month as Chinese visitors more than doubled from a year ago amid celebrations of the Lunar New Year.

Some 223,000 people made short-term visits to New Zealand in February, up 9 percent from the same month of 2012, data last month showed.

The number of Chinese visitors rose 106 percent to 31,536, and arrivals from Hong Kong jumped 144 percent to 3,760.

The budget is released on May 16.

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