3 Nov 2009

Govt to inject $20m into tourism

7:28 am on 3 November 2009

The Government has announced the country's tourism sector will receive a $20 million boost.

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key, making the announcement on Monday, says the increase will focus on the key markets of Australia, the United States and China.

He says the increase in funding is something the industry has been waiting for for many years and it is one of the priority recommendations of the Job Summit.

It brings the total budget for tourism this year to $89m.

Mr Key says a strong tourism brand enhances New Zealand's profile and benefits other exporters.

Funding 'crucial'

Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton says the extra money is crucial in ensuring New Zealand gets noticed in an environment of greater competition from other destinations.

Mr Hickton says the funding is expected to attract as many as 45,000 extra visitors which translates to $125 million of export earnings.

He says $5 million is earmarked for joint venture work with private sector companies such as Air New Zealand, and with regional tourism organisations.