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Local MPs Hon Chester Borrows, Barbara Kuriger, and Jonathan Young welcome the growth of tourism spending in the Taranaki region.

“We have seen an increase in spending for the year to January 2017 of 5 per cent in Taranaki. That’s a total of $338 million,” Jonathan Young says.

MP for Whanganui Hon Chester Borrows commented “across New Zealand, tourists spent more than $26 billion in the year to January 2017. Communities around New Zealand continue to benefit from increasing tourism and higher spending. This is great news for Taranaki and all New Zealanders.”

Domestic and international tourism creates immense value for working New Zealanders, with tourism employing over 180,000 people in 2016.

“The employment opportunities and economic prosperity as a result of this growth in tourism is significant,” said Borrows.

“What is really great for this region is the steep increase in free and independent travellers for whom the likes of our museums, collections, galleries and studios are just ideal. These people are travelling in a rental car or motor home and have the time to really appreciate our attractions,” said Borrows.

MP for New Plymouth Jonathan Young said “we still have massive opportunities before us, as even though Taranaki has a strong attraction for domestic visitors, we're only seeing 2% of the 3.5 million international visitors come to our region.”

“Generally they spend more, so it's important for Taranaki event organisations and businesses to keep generating reasons why coming to Taranaki needs to be high on their list. I’m thrilled to see that the Pouakai Crossing on Mt Taranaki is becoming increasingly recognised, as is the Len Lye Centre,” said Young.

MP for Taranaki-King Country Barbara Kuriger commented “as international visitor spending is booming, we must also invest to sustain and support this. The Government is investing in infrastructure across the board to support our visitors, including the phase two rollout of Ultrafast Broadband and a significant investment in regional roading.”

“The $3.9 million rollout of UFB to regional towns in Taranaki will increase visitor numbers and enrich their visit to our region. They will be able to access tourism information in the palm of their hand, no matter where they are. It also means our international visitors are able to Facebook and Tweet about their adventures, increasing the visitor potential for the region,” said Kuriger.

“With a $187 million investment in Taranaki’s transport infrastructure during the 2015 – 2018 National Land Transport Programme, we are seeing the Government’s commitment to inter-regional connectivity, public transport, and route resilience. Improved roading is significant for growth in tourism,” said Kuriger.

“Rated as Lonely Planet’s second best region in the world to visit, lets maximise the opportunities coming our way. While it’s great to see growth, let’s not be satisfied with just that,” said Young.

“Increasing numbers of tourists of so many different nationalities is proof that New Zealand offers a world class experience for its visitors, from near and far,” Kuriger said.

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