Tourism Minister Calls For Regions to Dig Deeper

  • Murray McCully

Tourism Minister Murray McCully is calling for regions to dig deeper into their pockets to make an investment in tourism during the next few years.

Speaking in Rotorua at the official launch of the Tourism Roadshow, Mr McCully called on local government and the private sector along with Central Government to increase their investment in tourism promotion to meet the opportunities ahead.

"Local bodies generally under-invest in tourism promotion by a substantial margin in relation to the benefits that it brings to the regions," he said.

"The benefits of tourism activity are dispersed widely and deeply into the community and if the community wants the benefits, the community must pay."

Mr McCully said New Zealand should be investing more in tourism now while it was on the brink of the biggest opportunities it will see in our lifetimes through the Millennium series of events.

"The World Cup of Golf this year will be covered by Television in 130 countries with a global footprint of 180 million households," he said.

"APEC will bring the leaders of 21 Asian Pacific Nations accompanied by over 2,000 journalists, feeding stories about events in New Zealand to a collective population of a billion people."

He said the America's Cup will draw over 2,000 media and will be televised to an audience of 200 million people over six months.

Mr Murray McCully said he hoped funding of Regional Tourism Organisations became a local body election issue this year.

"To vote against sensible funding of Regional Tourism Organisations is to vote against job opportunities and prosperity in the region, make no mistake about it," he said.

The Roadshows have been organised by the New Zealand Tourism Industry Association, the New Zealand Tourism Board and the Government to plan partnerships which will secure the benefits of the Millennium programme.