The prime minister of New Zealand has reassured the UK travel trade that newly released funding for tourism promotion will not be directed only to emerging markets.
Speaking during a visit to London on Thursday, John Key confirmed developing source markets would be central to a strategy which has seen Tourism New Zealand’s budget increased by NZ$29.5m to NZ$113m for 2013-14.
But he insisted that strategy would not be at the expense of traditionally strong markets in Europe, particularly the UK and Germany.
Key told Travel Weekly: “Every market will grow with this increased investment. Emerging markets are important, but this money will also be directed to our core markets of which Great Britain is central.
“There is a strong rationale for investing in the UK, as travellers are among the highest spending and longest staying.”
Key, who is also the country’s tourism minister, confirmed one of the main focuses for Tourism New Zealand would be increasing high-value travel, specifically around the country’s luxury lodge product.
But he said the UK also remained a strong source market for youth travel and for specific events including the Cricket World Cup in 2015.
Addressing guests including agents and operators at a function at New Zealand House in central London, he added: “For a lot of people, New Zealand is on their ‘bucket list’, but more often than not they end up coming (back) a lot more times.”
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