Extra $158m for tourism in Budget - Key

Prime Minister John Key - who is also tourism minister - says there will be an additional $158m for tourism in next month's Budget. Photo / supplied
Prime Minister John Key - who is also tourism minister - says there will be an additional $158m for tourism in next month's Budget. Photo / supplied

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key said an additional $158 million over four years will be earmarked for tourism in next month's budget.

Key told a business audience in Wellington that he will announce details of the funding at the TRENZ tourism conference this week. It will be part of the budget's theme for "a package of internationally focused growth initiatives."

"The package of funding will accelerate the work already underway in attracting high value tourists, and supporting and growing emerging and existing markets," he said.

"As my recent visits to China and Latin America have demonstrated, there is huge potential for New Zealand in these and other growth markets," Key said. "Achieving growth in tourism earnings requires targeted new investment to position New Zealand as a high-value destination in markets with real potential for growth."

Tourism generated $9.6 billion in the 12 months ended March 31, amounting for 3.3 per cent of gross domestic product.

New Zealand visitor arrivals climbed 9 per cent last month as Chinese visitors more than doubled from a year ago amid celebrations of the Lunar New Year.

Some 223,000 people made short-term visits to New Zealand in February, up 9 per cent from the same month of 2012, data last month showed.

The number of Chinese visitors rose 106 per cent to 31,536, and arrivals from Hong Kong jumped 144 per cent to 3,760.

The budget is released on May 16.

- BusinessDesk

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