Tourism industry must take advantage of major sporting events

  • Murray McCully

Tourism and Sport Minister Murray McCully says its vital that the New Zealand tourism industry is fully geared up to take advantage of major sporting events in this part of the world over the next few years, and the Year 2000 Celebrations.

A Ministry of Commerce Tourism Policy Group issues paper prepared before last years General Elections to brief the in-coming Minister, and released today by Mr McCully, draws attention to

the Americas Cup yacht racing in Auckland in 1999/2000
the Sydney Olympics in 2000
the World Netball Championships in Christchurch in 1999
as significant events which the Tourism Minister describes as "once-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunities which must not be squandered".
The briefing paper cautions that the quality of the New Zealand tourism product may suffer if investment levels do not match the growth in tourism.

"We recognise that for many would-be tourists, we are an expensive place to come to at the bottom end of the world so we need to continue positioning ourselves as a quality destination, building on our clean green theme.

"Maintenance of that quality image clearly requires a continued commitment to high standards of environmental management and an ongoing re-investment in plant, facilities, amenities and training.

"I accept that professionalism is the key to maintaining quality, and forward-looking training and education programmes are crucial to the development and maintenance of professional skills in the tourism industry."