Dunedin's students may hold the key to increasing tourism
in the city.
Tourism New Zealand is investing more in the education
market, in line with the Government's intention to capitalise
further on students.
Chief executive Kevin Bowler said there were close to 100,000
international students in New Zealand and there was the
potential to attract hundreds of thousands of their relatives
''Government has a view that we could attract more
international visitors for education and we would support
that. We're investing more in promoting New Zealand as an
Dunedin's high proportion of students meant it could benefit
greatly from the initiative.
''It's certainly an opportunity. The more international
students we have in New Zealand, the more it will assist us
to grow tourism, as they will have visitors and they will
come back,'' Mr Bowler said.
He was speaking from Trenz, New Zealand's largest tourism
conference, in Auckland.
International students were already boosting tourism by
hosting family and friends, but more could be done, Mr Bowler
''It's quite a significant market. We have to ask ourselves
once we've got the student in New Zealand what else can we do
to increase the value of their stay, and we haven't really
given a lot of thought to that.''
Tourism Industry Association chairman Grant Lilly also
highlighted the importance of education tourism.
The industry as a whole aimed to make it easier for
foreigners to visit international students in New Zealand, he
There were also opportunities to piggy-back on the Australian
market, he said.
''There are about 500,000 international students in
Australia, and we're keen to target them to come and enjoy
New Zealand while they're in this part of the world.''