06 August 2008
Conservation agreement "top priority" for NZ tourism industry
A new agreement between the Department of Conservation (DOC) and the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) in New Zealand will create huge benefits for the tourism industry, TIA said in a press release yesterday.
The agreement focuses on areas of the country where tourism needs to be restricted for conservation purposes. The deal will allow pre-existing tour operators in sensitive areas to apply for long-term concessions and put larger, longer-term investment in their businesses. It will also work to restrict the number of applicants looking to operate in these areas, so that pre-existing operators can concentrate on protecting the environment they work in.
TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar said the agreement is a top priority for the tourism industry because New Zealand’s environment is the major draw-card for international visitors, and the national parks and reserves must remain under a high level of conservation.
According to TIA, tourism in New Zealand is the country’s single largest exporter; it contributes to 18.3 per cent of the country’s exports, and since 1999, the number of international people who visit New Zealand have increased by 61 per cent. Tourism also contributes $14.1 billion of gross domestic product to New Zealand’s economy on an annual basis.
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Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.