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New survey reinforces majority support for tourism

New figures capturing public opinion about the value of tourism reinforce findings that show the vast majority of people think international tourism is good for the country.

Tourism New Zealand welcomes the additional data provided by specialist market researchers Angus & Associates who have delved into perceptions of tourism as part of their ongoing Visitor Insights Programme.

The results for the July-September quarter show that 95 per cent of Kiwis think international tourism is good for the New Zealand and some 91 per cent believe it is good for their region. The results mirror the findings from the latest Mood of the Nation survey which puts the support for international tourism at 96 per cent.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says: "This latest survey is further confirmation that nearly everyone thinks tourism is a good thing but there is some concern about how much pressure tourism is putting on the country.

“The 95 per cent support for tourism overall suggests that Kiwis recognise the benefits of tourism and that it represents one our New Zealand’s biggest growth opportunities. Tourism accounts for one in 10 jobs and one in five export dollars. In a more tangible sense that translates to benefits such as more events for our regions, more cafes, restaurants and retail stores. It opens up some amazing recreational options and means lower airfares for everyone.”

The survey also shows, however, that there is concern about the pressure tourism, particularly international tourism, is placing on New Zealand and the regions. Some 44 per cent of people think international visitors are putting too much pressure on the country, (compared with 35 per cent in Mood of the Nation) and 30 per cent feel there is too much pressure on their region.

England-Hall says: "Tourism New Zealand is working with industry and other interested agencies to address issues that are a concern to New Zealanders. We are committed to managing tourism growth in a way that is sustainable and acceptable to our communities.

”New Zealanders can't blame the challenges of infrastructure or environment on the visitor. Those are elements of our country directly under our control and design.  What Tourism New Zealand can do is help to shape the visitor economy to ensure it makes New Zealand a better place for Kiwis. 

“We are continuing our focus on attracting a sustainable mix of visitors during the shoulder season and building trade and media itineraries, PR and marketing campaigns that encourage visitors to travel to more regions.”