TOURISM MINISTER WELCOMES INDUSTRY’S SUCCESSTourism
Tourism Minister Lockwood Smith has welcomed New Zealand Tourism Board statistics that show the tourism industry brought $3.7 billion dollars into the economy this past year - up 19% from last year's statistics, and the highest ever recorded.
"This growth is great news for the tourism industry, and is a real credit to New Zealand's hardworking tourism operators and their associated agencies, such as the Tourism Industry Association and the New Zealand Tourism Board," Dr Smith said.
"Tourism is already making an important contribution to the New Zealand economy, and today's statistics show the industry's future potential to make an even greater contribution through foreign exchange earnings, and creating new jobs for New Zealand families.
Dr Smith said that the industry's success highlighted the need for more investment in the tourism industry in the future, and for Government to keep its hands out of the tourism industry's pocket.
"Labour's tourism policy outlines a range of working groups, focus groups, committees and task forces to ‘assist' the tourism industry to develop sustainably. New Zealand competes for tourist dollars in a very competitive international market, and one of New Zealand's advantages is its low-cost environment for business.
"Labour's plans to raise taxes, repeal the Employment Contracts Act, reverse the ACC reforms and provide ‘assistance' through big bureaucracy will stifle innovation, and raise the industry's entire cost structure.
"Many tourists won't pay more - they just won't come to New Zealand.
But Dr Smith said that the message that Labour sends to international markets is likely to inflict even more harm on the tourism industry.
"Labour's disgusting attacks on successful New Zealand businesspeople and their intention to meddle with industries, including effectively closing down a whole sector of private industry through reversing the ACC changes, would send a terribly negative message to potential international investors.
"Labour's policies would harm successful industries such as tourism, and curtail offshore investment which will be crucial to the industry's ongoing sustainable development," Dr Smith concluded.