Tourism Minister Launches Tourism Satellite Account

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Tourism Minister Lockwood Smith today welcomed the launch of a new methodology for measuring the tourism industry's contribution to New Zealand's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

"Quantifying the tourism industry's contribution to New Zealand has always been difficult. There are no products crossing national borders, and it's difficult to measure the flows of foreign exchange using traditional accounting practices," Dr Smith said.

"The launch of the Tourism Satellite Account is significant because it allows us to extract meaningful information about the tourism industry, and to better understand the dynamic of tourism in our economy.

"The TSA launched today produced exciting statistics about the tourism industry based upon analysis of the 1995 year. In that year tourism supported 118,000 jobs. It generated $9.1 billion of expenditure and produced $954 million in tax revenue for the Government.

"Furthermore, it was our largest export earner, having generated $4.3 billion of foreign exchange earnings (or 15.8% of total foreign exchange earnings).

"New Zealand is only one of a handful of countries to have developed a TSA, which reflects the Government's commitment to tourism. The Government has also provided funding for a TSA in the 1999/00 year, but the challenge will be to secure an ongoing commitment to funding these surveys, particularly from the tourism industry," Dr Smith concluded.