Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

Royal visit will boost NZ tourism - PM

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on the water with Team NZ. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge on the water with Team NZ. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Prime Minister John Key says he expects the international exposure from the royal visit to be a boost for tourism and a special package was put on for the royal reporters following the couple to win them over to New Zealand's charms.

Mr Key said more than 120 international media were covering the visit, on which the royals had partaken of several tourism opportunities, including jet boating in Queenstown and sailing on the Waitemata Harbour.

Mr Key is also Tourism Minister.

"The focus of more than 120 international reporters and photographers means pictures and stories of New Zealand are being beamed around the world as the royal tour is reported overseas. As Tourism Minister, I know how valuable that is."

He said Tourism NZ had also organised a programme for those royal reporters covering the visit to help "showcase New Zealand as an international holiday destination."

During their stay, the British media were taken for a night-time tour of Hobbiton. Several also took up the offer of a jetboat ride on the Shotover after the royal couple had their ride in Queenstown.

Despite the rain during much of the visit, many of the royal reporters have been tweeting about those experiences and were particularly taken by Queenstown. Mr Key has defended the $1.2 million cost of the visit, saying the benefits of it far outweighed the cost.

Numbers of tourists from Britain have dipped in recent years because of the global recession and because of new departure taxes, which have now been reduced.

Mr Key said the royal visit had been positively received throughout the country.

"For many, it has been the chance of a lifetime to catch a glimpse of the royal couple. I've seen first hand how much it has meant to people, young and old, to be part of the generous Kiwi welcome."

The royal family will have tomorrow off before ending their visit with engagements in Wellington on Wednesday. They leave on Wednesday afternoon to travel to Australia with a lot of excess baggage after receiving a multitude of gifts on their stay.

- APNZ

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