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Big issues facing new Tourism Minister

Big issues facing new Tourism Minister
December 19, 2016

Tourism Industry Aotearoa will seek meetings with newly appointed New Zealand Tourism Minister Paula Bennett and Associate Minister Nicky Wagner to discuss “big issues” facing the tourism industry in the New Year.

Welcoming the new appointments by incoming New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English, TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts stated “we know and acknowledge that there is rising public and industry concern that tourism is growing faster than our ability to cope.

“Without a coordinated response from industry and central and local government, we risk being unable to fully capture the future potential of tourism and protect the long-term sustainability of our industry.

“Tourism funding and infrastructure are the top priorities for the industry as we head into 2017, along with supporting the recovery of Kaikoura and the wider tourism industry in surrounding regions.”

Prime Minister English named Paula Bennett Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State Services, and Minister for Climate Change Issues as well as the new Minister of Tourism, taking on the latter portfolio from outgoing Prime Minister John Key.

In other leisure portfolios, Dr Jonathan Coleman continues in his role as Minister of Health and Minister for Sport and Recreation; Maggie Barry remains as Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage and as Minister of Conservation; Nathan Guy continues as Minister for Racing; and Nick Smith remains Minister for the Environment.

Commenting on Minister Bennett’s role, Roberts added “Paula Bennett has ably supported former Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key for the last two years in her role as Associate Tourism Minister.

“We are pleased she is continuing her involvement with the industry as the new Minister.

“The tourism industry has benefited enormously from having Mr Key as Tourism Minister for the last eight years. We are pleased the portfolio is remaining with a highly ranked Cabinet Minister, reflecting the industry’s importance to New Zealand’s economy.”

Total annual tourism revenue has grown from $28 billion to $34.7 billion in just two years.

The TIA expects strong growth to continue over summer and throughout 2017, and that the medium term outlook is very promising.

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