Prime Minister Shows Support for Local Tourism Industry 24/06/2016

Prime Minister John Key showed support for the local tourism industry when he visited Taupo on 24th June. During his talk to an audience of tourism operators at the Great Lake Centre, he focused on the growth that is occurring in the tourism industry and the opportunities for communities like Taupo to benefit from this growth. The Prime Minister noted that Taupo’s natural scenery and attractions present great opportunity for the region as they appeal to both domestic and international visitors alike.

The Prime Minister did recognise, however, that growing numbers of visitors are starting to put pressure on infrastructure during peak periods, especially for smaller communities. He outlined the government’s recently announced $12 million fund for regional tourism infrastructure and how this could help the Great Lake Taupo region. He gave the example of toilets for freedom campers as an area where the region could potentially benefit from the $12 million fund. Taupo Mayor David Trewavas said finding funding for freedom camping infrastructure is a challenge but is something the region will need to continue to invest in.

The emerging Chinese market was another area the Prime Minister focused on. While visitor numbers from all markets are growing for New Zealand, visitors from China are growing at a faster rate than other market segments. Prime Minister John Key said this was a great opportunity for all tourism towns in New Zealand, including Taupo, to leverage off this growth and get their share of Chinese visitors. Mayor Trewavas said he had just travelled to China with a delegation from Taupo and was excited about the tourism and businesses opportunities this presented.

The Prime Minister also visited a number of other locations during his Taupo visit, including officially opening the Lake Taupo Top 10 Holiday Resort’s new thermally heated hot pool. The $2 million attraction with swim-up poolside bar, grotto with fibre-optic glowworm effect and giant movie screen is the first of its kind in Australasia.

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