Tourism hopes from education market push

Kevin Bowler
Kevin Bowler
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 and friends.

''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 education destination.''


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 said.

''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 said.

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.''


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