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Increase in Tourism funding welcomed

Tourism New Zealand's Chief Executive Kevin Bowler has welcomed the Government's announcement of a $158m boost for tourism spending over the next four years.

He says Tourism New Zealand understands that it will receive a significant portion of the new funding and is delighted by the Government's recognition of the tourism sector as a driver of economic growth.

"Since we began the development of our new three-year marketing strategy in August 2012, we have been in discussion with the Government and with industry about what could be achieved for the New Zealand economy with more funding.

"This new funding package will enable us to grow the value tourism generates for the economy through targeted initiatives. There is a deliberate focus on attracting high value visitors, something which was strongly supported during industry consultation on our new strategy."

Kevin Bowler says Tourism New Zealand looks forward to sharing more details about its plans with the sector at the upcoming TRENZ event in Auckland and at planned industry briefings around the country.

"Tourism New Zealand will continue to work closely with industry to support the ongoing development of a quality visitor sector, and in particular, with the Tourism Industry Association as they develop the National Tourism Plan, to ensure alignment of activity.

"This significant funding increase comes on the back of a strong start to the calendar year in terms of visitor arrivals, with a number of key markets in growth - including China, the US, Canada and Japan.

"With this strong Government endorsement Tourism New Zealand is well placed to further grow the economic contribution of international visitors to New Zealand."

Tourism New Zealand is running a series of forums around the country in June, to discuss how it will implement the new three-year marketing strategy.   

Industry can register their attendance at one of the forums on the corporate website www.tourismnewzealand.com