Christchurch Airport welcomes tourism funding

Christchurch Airport's CEO Jim Boult is applauding the Government's announcement of a funding boost for tourism over the next four years.

Mr Boult says he's delighted by the $158 million extra funding and has no doubt it will boost tourism.

"Tourism is one of this country's largest export industries, second only to the dairy industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings. Around one in 10 working New Zealanders is employed in the tourism industry and it has the potential to improve the economies of communities around the country," he says.

"Having just returned from accompanying the Prime Minister to China, it's clear to me China will continue to become more and more important to our future. Chinese travellers want to see New Zealand and our two countries have a very strong relationship.  Unlocking the value from that will require investment and these just-announced Government dollars will help.

"Likewise, there are other markets where we can get extra value. I think, for example of Japan. We used to welcome 173,000 Japanese visitors, but that number is now 73,000. This funding has the ability to re-gain some of that lost ground.

"Christchurch Airport looks forward to working with Tourism New Zealand and other parties to allow the outcome Government desires from this welcome tourism investment."