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Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith has welcomed the monthly regional tourism figures released today by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that show Nelson continues to be the fastest growing tourism region.

“The tourism industry in Nelson and Tasman is booming with $616 million spent in the year to November. It has become one of Nelson’s most important industries supported by a stunning natural environment, high standards of service and strong promotion from Government and councils. This growth is supporting thousands of jobs in the hospitality and retail sectors and reinforces the regions broader economic success,” Dr Smith says.

The amount of money spent in Nelson between November 2015 and November 2016 was $337 million, 15.2 per cent more than the $293 million spent last year. From that figure, $223 million was spent by domestic visitors and $114 million by international guests. In Tasman $279 million was spent, 7.5 per cent more than the $259 million spent the year before. Domestic guests spent $166 million of the $279 million while international guests spent $113 million in that period.

Retail purchases topped the tourist spending in the region, followed by passenger transport, food and beverage and accommodation services. In terms of international visitor spending in Nelson, the largest contribution came from tourists from Australia followed by those from the United Kingdom, the United States and then Germany.

“The one area where we need to tighten up our management of tourism is in respect of freedom camping. The current combination of national laws and council bylaws is not working. We need to find a way to better regulate this part of the visitor industry so that it supports the visitor industry without the unsightly scenes at areas likes of Nelson’s ANZAC Park or the Takaka River in Golden Bay. I will be working with both councils this year on finding a solution that works for the tourism sector as well for local communities.” 

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