Tourist industry leaders have a short wishlist for the next John Key Government and topping it is having the Prime Minister continue in the tourism portfolio.

In its election manifesto National said Key would retain the portfolio he had held for the past six years, "keeping tourism at the heart of Government".

Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts said he was looking forward to confirmation of the promise.

"It can't really be underestimated how important a signal that has sent over the last six years. It's helped raise the status of tourism as an important sector but there's a lot that needs to be done," Roberts said.

Advertisement

"It's worked well with the Prime Minister being across all the tourism issues but so has his office and there's a level of understanding on the ninth floor of the Beehive of tourism issues that wouldn't normally be there."

Among National's election promises were a focus on high value and special interest visitors, providing support to attract conventions, work to further streamline processing to attract more high value Chinese, and support for Maori tourism. The party also said it would complete and help maintain cycle trails, promote New Zealand as a major events destination and put in place "world-class" safety standards.

Roberts said the past 18 months had been great for attracting international visitors. Including domestic tourism, the industry contributes $24 billion to the economy annually, second only to dairy, and supports 172,100, or more than 8 per cent of all full-time-equivalent jobs.

"We're on track to almost double the value of tourism over the next decade [but] we're in a global race for the tourism dollar - there are going to be plenty of challenges come our way.

"We don't have our hand out for more money - what we want are responsive government agencies when we raise issues be it visa facilitation or having the right data and research available."

Streamlining transtasman travel should be a priority, Roberts said.

More than 2.3 million people a year make the trip both ways and making the trip more like a domestic flight has been on the political agenda for years.

"Increasingly the traveller wants their experience to be as seamless as possible," Roberts said.

Advertisement

Tourism Holdings chief executive Grant Webster also supported having a Prime Minister overseeing tourism.

"It is exceptionally pleasing for the industry. He's got the balance right of promoting New Zealand while on the world stage."

He agreed that more seamless travel would be welcomed and although not necessarily a central government issue, investment in infrastructure during the next few years should be a key focus with cruise ship facilities in Auckland an example.

"We need as an industry to be reinvesting capital into new developments. We're coming out of the tough time during which parts of the industry [such as hotels] didn't invest because they couldn't."

Webster said there was increasing interest among visitors in the Government's attitude to the environment, a hot issue before the global financial crisis.

"One of the interesting ones will be the clean rivers issue ... Likewise adventure safety."

New rules over auditing and licensing adventure safety will come into force on November 1.

Extreme promo targets young adventurers

Read also:

NZ tourism has released a new video as part of a new campaign encouraging young visitors to try five extreme activities within a day. Watch adventurer Chuck Berry try them out in just one hour.

Tourism New Zealand and travel agency STA are teaming up to promote the possibility of five extreme activities in a day in the South Island.

It is targeting key youth sector markets with a campaign, starting with a video featuring Queenstown athlete Chuck Berry skydiving, snowboarding, mountain biking, bungy jumping and jetboating.

Tourism NZ's "Five more from here" campaign showcases the diverse range of experiences, all within close proximity of one another.

Tourism NZ marketing director Andrew Fraser said the stunt video aimed to get youth travellers excited about coming here.

"Only in a country like ours, where there are so many things to do in such close proximity, could you experience all five extreme sports in one day. The video shows that in an engaging and exhilarating way and gets people talking," Fraser said.

"Our research tells us that youth travellers are searching for adventure, freedom and excitement and we are confident that 'Five more from here' will show them that New Zealand can offer just that."

The "5X1NZ" campaign includes a NZONE tandem sky dive, mountain bike hire on Rabbit Ridge Bike Resort, Shotover jet boat trip, AJ Hackett bungy and a choice of ski combo packages, including Coronet Peak.

Excluding the ski combo package, the activities would cost $738.

Social media would play a key role in the campaign, Fraser said. It is being rolled out this month in New Zealand's key youth markets of Australia, the US, Britain, Brazil, Germany and Japan.

The youth sector accounts for 22 per cent of total arrivals. Last year young travellers spent about 23 per cent of the $9.8 billion spent here by international tourists.

The potential to stay longer than other visitors, travel more widely and get involved in a wider range of activities means they are likely to spend more.