Otago's economy relies on tourism more than any other region
in the country, the Tourism Industry Association says.
The association's election manifesto, released yesterday,
shows about a quarter (25.2%) of the region's gross domestic
product (GDP) came from tourism.
It revealed the annual spend by international and domestic
visitors to Otago was $2.17 billion - greater than
Canterbury's $2.099 billion or Wellington's $1.934 billion,
which were between 7% and 11% of those regions' GDP.
The figures also showed more than one in 10 (10.3%) full-time
jobs held by Clutha district residents were supported by
The industry also supported 9.6% of residents' jobs in the
Central Otago district, 9.1% in the Waitaki district, 9% in
the Queenstown-Lakes district and 8.8% in Dunedin.
''This highlights that tourism is a significant and valuable
part of the region's economy,'' association chief executive
Chris Roberts said.
''We know that tourism supports regional communities across
New Zealand, driving regional economic growth and creating
Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd said the
figures came as no surprise.
''It highlights how important tourism is. It is not only
important in our region but Queenstown is an important part
of the national picture.''
Because of that there needed to be investment in
infrastructure to support the industry.
''It's really critical.''
An example was the long wait to get the one-lane Kawarau
Falls bridge at Frankton upgraded or further improvements to
State Highway 6 through the Kawarau Gorge.
''We have not really had full support for the growth in
visitor numbers we now have and anticipate continuing to
While the figures only suggested 9.9% of jobs were supported
by tourism in Queenstown, it was a lot higher than that, as
they did not include part-time work or that done by
non-residents, both of which were a significant part of the
town's workforce, he said.
Suz Arthur, from Enterprise Dunedin, said with $205 million
added to Dunedin's GDP in 2013 and 3024 people employed in
tourism, the industry was an important economic driver in the