8 Mar 2009

Tourist infrastructure criticised in international report

4:23 pm on 8 March 2009

An international report on the tourist trade has criticised New Zealand's public transport and ground infrastructure.

The Tourism Competitiveness Report, which measures the regulatory and business issues surrounding the tourism industry, ranks New Zealand 20th of 133 countries for the ease of tourism industry development.

The report says New Zealand benefits from its rich natural resources, and the protection of pristine natural environments. It also ranks New Zealand as one of the easiest places to start a business.

However, it criticises the level of infrastructure, saying the ground transport network remains underdeveloped. This includes not only trains and buses, but cruise ship facilities at ports.

The report highlights the importance of the industry working in partnership with Government for further development.

Switzerland was ranked top of the list, while Australia was ninth.