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Celebrating World Tourism Day and New Zealand’s $21.7 billion tourism industry

Celebrating World Tourism Day and New Zealand’s $21.7 billion tourism industry
September 27, 2010

New Zealand is marking World Tourism Day by celebrating the importance of its tourism industry, one of the countryâs most important sectors, worth $59 million every day, and supporting almost 100,000 jobs.

A UN World Tourism Organisation initiative, World Tourism Day (Monday 27th September) is being marked around the globe this year under the theme 'Tourism and Biodiversity'. Official celebrations are being hosted by China, with many other events taking place internationally.

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) Chief Executive Tim Cossar explains "tourism is one of New Zealand's flagship sectors and largest foreign exchange earners.

"It is worth $21.7 billion annually to the New Zealand economy, and tourism ventures directly and indirectly employ nearly one in 10 Kiwis. Many downstream businesses also benefit from visitor spending, such as cafes, bars, supermarkets and petrol stations. Tourism has also created a positive brand for New Zealand in the international marketplace, something that many of our other export sectors leverage off."

Cossar says the New Zealand Government has put tourism high on its economic development agenda, highlighted by the Prime Minister also holding the tourism portfolio.

As Cossar adds "TIANZ and the industry are now seeking to also establish a much stronger partnership with local government. This is vital if we are to boost the significant contribution visitors already make to communities from Kaitaia to Stewart Island.

"Tourism and biodiversity, the theme of this yearâs World Tourism Day, is particularly relevant to New Zealand.

"Our environment and unique biodiversity are one of our main tourism offerings. New Zealand tourism operators are committed to protecting that environment, for Kiwis and international visitors alike.

"A strong tourism industry is good for all New Zealand now, and into the future."

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