Tourism seeks support to regrow Chch visitors

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 26/08/2014

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Tourism supports a higher proportion of jobs in the Waimakariri District than anywhere else in New Zealand, new figures show.

The visitor industry's value to the Canterbury economy, particularly in Waimakariri and Selwyn, have been highlighted in a Tourism Industry Association (TIA) manifesto.

More than one in six, or 18.3 per cent, of residents' jobs in Waimakariri are either directly or indirectly supported by tourism, with some of those workers based at Christchurch Airport, the lobby group says.

About 15 per cent of jobs in Selwyn district were tourism-related.

However, visitor-based jobs only represent 7.9 per cent of the workforce in Christchurch city.

The city lost tourism infrastructure and jobs as a result of the 2010-2011 earthquakes.

But the lower number also represented the fact that New Zealand's main cities have wide and varied work bases.

TIA chief executive Chris Roberts said tourism accounted for 6.3 per cent of Wellington's total workforce and 8.4 per cent of Auckland's.

TIA works on behalf of 1500 tourism-based businesses, large and small, who collectively make up 85 per cent of New Zealand's tourism turnover.

Its election manifesto says an incoming Government should help with supporting the tourism industry and secure continued commitment from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority for tourism to be a critical contributor to Christchurch's economic recovery.

TIA wants the next Government to support the tourism industry's goal of contributing $41 billion a year to the economy by 2025.

Tourism already earns $24b each year.

The manifesto estimates international and domestic visitors to Canterbury spend $2.1b a year, equivalent to 8.2 per cent of the region's gross domestic product.

Within the region, tourism supports 14 per cent of residents' jobs in the Waimate District, 13.4 per cent of jobs in Hurunui, 11.5 per cent in the Kaikoura District and 11.4 per cent in the Mackenzie District.

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism chief executive Tim Hunter said the tourism figures for some districts such as Kaikoura and Mackenzie could be even higher than TIA states.

BY THE NUMBERS

The Tourism Industry Association estimates that:

New Zealand tourism directly supports 110,800 full-time equivalent jobs

The industry also indirectly supports another 61,300 full-time equivalent jobs

Tourism employment includes chefs, airline pilots, shuttle drivers, tour and raft guides, cycle hire operators and administrators in tourism businesses

Tourism supports a wide range of other business people such as farmers, builders, accountants and supermarket operators.

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