• Dr Lockwood Smith

Tourism Minister Lockwood Smith has welcomed the latest Tourism Industry Outlook, which shows strong growth in the tourism industry in the past year.
The report, prepared by Ernst & Young and the Tourism Industry Association, reports that 71 percent of businesses surveyed showed increased revenue flows over the previous year, and 67 percent reported increased profitability, with 13 percent expecting the profit growth to be significant.

"This is a positive report for the tourism industry, providing further evidence of its contribution to New Zealand's economy, and raising its profile as a sound investment destination, both within New Zealand and in our international markets," Dr Smith said.

"The report shows strong business confidence within the industry, and it's very encouraging to note that 47 percent of respondents expect a significant or slight increase in employment over the coming year.
"While the industry itself is to be congratulated for this result, it's also a clear endorsement of National's economic policies, which position industries such as tourism to create more jobs for New Zealand families.

"Our ACC reforms are a classic example of this, with a recent Tourism Industry Association survey showing that 72 percent of respondents were paying lower premiums under the new competitive environment than was previously the case, without any change in the level of cover ," Dr Smith said.

"Forty-two percent of respondents also said that the competitive environment in the provision of workplace accident insurance services had increased their focus on workplace safety, which benefits workers, tourists, and all tax-payers by inevitably reducing the load on our emergency health services.

"It's clear that Labour's policies of reversing the new ACC regime, raising taxes and repealing the Employment Contracts Act would harm the tourism industry, undermine its growth and destroy jobs," Dr Smith concluded.