Key pre-announces 50% increase in tourism promotion spending in Budget 2013; signals 2014 election all about stopping Green dominated govt

Key pre-announces 50% increase in tourism promotion spending in Budget 2013; signals 2014 election all about stopping Green dominated govt

By Bernard Hickey

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key has foreshadowed an extra NZ$158 million in spending in Budget 2013 on May 16 on promoting international tourism over the next four years, adding an extra 46% to existing spending on tourism.

"One of the areas we're going to focus that spending on is an international growth package, and part of that package is on tourism. We're going to be investing over the next four years an extra NZ$158 million. At the moment they get roughly NZ$340 million over that four year period, so NZ$158 million is a lot more," Key told a pre-Budget luncheon hosted by Business NZ in Wellington. 

Key said he would detail how that NZ$146 million would be spent at the TRENZ conference starting in Auckland on Sunday, although he signalled it would be mostly on promotional activity to higher value foreign tourists, particularly in China.

"The package of funding will accelerate the work already underway in attracting high value tourists, and supporting and growing emerging and existing markets," Key said. “It will also be utilised to encourage innovation, bring international events to New Zealand and simplify visa processes. This new funding will provide a boost in marketing New Zealand to the world," he said.

Key said the tourism sector generated NZ$9.6 billion of revenue in the year to March 2012 and made up 15.4% of export earnings. It also generated 3.3% of GDP and employed 6.2% of the workforce.

What he didn't say is the same Statistics NZ figures on Tourism show tourism's share of export earnings has dropped from 20.2% of export earnings in 2006 to 15.4% last year, while its share of GDP has dropped from 4.3% to 3.3%. The number of people employed in tourism has dropped from a high of 193,800 in 2009 to 186,900 by 2012. 

Key confirmed Finance Minister Bill English's comments last week that the government was on track to hit its target for a surplus for the 2014/15 years, "although we're talking about a pretty small surplus."

Elsewhere, Key set the scene for the November 2014 election by saying it would be a choice between a centre-right government in National and a Green-dominated Labour governmnent, rather than a traditional centre-left Labour government.

He told the Wellington audience the Transmission Gully roading project improving connections to the Kapiti Coast would be gone under a Labour-Green government, as would a TransPacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement with America and Japan.

"A Labour Party dominated by the Greens will not be allowed to carry out the agendas they've previously carried out. That is going to be the really big debate that's going to be held next year," Key said.

"Do you want more of what you've got, which is delivering a country that's performing pretty much better than most other developed countries, or do you want to put yourselves in the hands of Russel Norman and Metiria Turei?"

(Updated with more tourism detail, comments on Greens)

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While he's busy spending other people's money...he ought to take a gork at the lack of punnishment the criminals who target tourists can expect..

unless they reign in the NZD, there wont be any tourists coming here cos itll be too expensive.

The downside is that he is spening real money in the sense that we have to earn as a country the forign currency that is going to spend promoting New Zealand . The New York Times will not accept NZD for ad space. The other bad news is that tourists are really fickle, they hate going to countries with a major currency disadvantage to them so UK, US, Euro are all out, Japan has simply stopped travelling almost completely. So what do we do?

Great initiative, good to see the government putting money where it counts.  This is a billion dollar export industry that pumps foreign currency into our economy, I'd bet that the extra GST intake alone would cover the cost of this investment not to mention the extra tax take from the increased visitors and of course the extra income for Kiwi businesses. 
Plan B, Wolly, etc. You lot spend half your day complaining on this site that the government doesn't support exporters, doesn't reduce the deficit, etc.  Here's a 100m+ initiative to do just that and all you do is whine.

I'm curious to know whether you work in tourism? Judging by your comment above it appears you don't. Correct me if I'm wrong.
If you weigh up where the spending of the Chinese is; most of it will be spent on packaged tours booked inside of China.
Yes, airlines, hotels, bus companies, guides and entrance to tourist attractions etc all get their cut. I would be interested to see how many of these are NZ owned.
Very few of these tourists are independent and spend their well earned money in "real" New Zealand. It's the same world over. NZ promotes independent travel - hire a car, stay in a B&B, eat  and drink local. This is not how the majority of Chinese (Asians) in travel in general.
Our high dollar means you get less bang for your buck and they won't be here for long. Good for those with shares in Air New Zealand I suppose....
Perhaps our PM has dropped a subtlety that he will finance the development of a tunnel to our most pristine "untouched" country in Fiordland.I suppose it will attract these so-called lucrative Chinese tourists to New Zealand though.... albeit for a 5 minute photo opportunity before they board their bus back to China.

OK John, take it easy...

Hey hey come on there guys...there's plenty of scope for more tourism interest in N.Z. out there.....
Who's not pulling a teat here.........for cow enthusiasts.
 Shear a Sheep.......but not mine, I'm a monogamist.
Visit a Bank......  and flirt with borrowing a fortune based on the content of your rucksack, laugh as the funny Bankman tells you it doesn't matter if your a's all good he'll say..
Visit the Beehive.... and gaze in awe at how many stupid bureaucrats it takes to Govern such a tiny place 
 Picnic at rivers we want you to see....look at a fish, a real one too..!, as it chokes down some pellet TLC.
Visit an eruption site where Gerry Brownlie (Political funerals attache) had to use the convenience while beset with just how to defraud the post earthquake insured.....he's a wag for sure..! Not to mention great at hovering unwanted leftovers at wakes...
And of course those ol favs...Roto vegas...the jewel in the crown for  the tourist with permanent sinus blockage.....see some happy really..!
 Come and see Hill..(formerly  One tree hill ), and gaze upon a sprawling Metropolis such as you have never witnessed, with enough land to build a skyscraper in every back yard and a Mayor just crazy enough to want to do it...
You'll be enthralled , entertained , so taken , you'll want to return again and again...oh what the hey you'll want to immigrate...and we can accomodate that too.

Oh come on .. why not build a combination international airport cum monster casino cum 5 star hotel on the chatham islands .. border control and immigration can fly out once a week and conduct auctions for visas, and barfoot and thompson can rent the consession stand in the giant nissan-hut down at the end of the runway with all the latest gadgetry giant video screens for guided virtual tours and conduct auctions .. all-in-one
And erect a giant statue to "dear leader" King-Jon-Uh somewhere

Absolutely love #2 SoreL....c'mon lets do it.....!!

And the difference between this announcement and 'Nanny-Statism', is?
Not only disingenuous, he's running scared.
Or has to engender fear to stay in power - what kind of person needs to do that, again?

so ummm we are cutting DOC staff, but increasing tourism funding?  This man's way too clever for me..

Kimy.. ...a reality check for you , we can't have sheep running around central Auckland....the lights,  the hustle, the throb of the city, they'd be working sheep in no time...not the innocent little darlings tourists want to pet....but the sordid quadrapedal ruminants desired by the thrill starved locals.
Never quite figured out how to get around to kiss them though.....

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