The Government has failed the tourism sector by not taking the China-NZ Year of Tourism seriously, National’s Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“As Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis quietly attended the closing ceremony this week he has overseen the first decrease in Chinese visitors in a decade. Numbers released today confirm visitors from China are down by 39,907, a nine per cent decrease in the year to September compared to 2018.
“The China-NZ Year of Tourism was an opportunity seized by the previous National Government to build upon the growing relationship between our two countries. But a distracted Government has fumbled this opportunity.
“This drop in visitors has a direct impact on small and median sized tourism businesses and means approximately $173 million less has been spent in the tourism economy.
“By comparison, Kelvin Davis is proud of his Government’s new tourism tax which will only deliver $40 million a year for our tourism industry.
“This drop in tourism revenue is disappointing from a Government that’s piling costs on business and dragging revenue down.
“The Government isn’t delivering. It has added new taxes and costs to tourists and has overseen delays in visa processing which means fewer tourists are choosing to come and spend their time and money in New Zealand.
“New Zealand deserves a Government who actually delivers for our largest export industry.”