Labour blames Key for tourism decline
Wednesday 13 Mar 2013 2:37 p.m.
Prime Minister John Key (file)
Tourism is declining and the government should do something about it, Labour says.
Latest statistics show the number of people staying in hotels and motels fell by four percent in January compared with December.
Labour's tourism spokesman Andrew Little says it's clear the high value of the dollar is making New Zealand a less attractive place to visit.
He's blaming Prime Minister John Key, who holds the tourism portfolio, for a lack of government strategy.
"It's not enough for John Key to hide behind the age-old excuse of world economic slow-down because even visitors from countries doing alright, like Australia, China and Germany, have fallen," he said on Wednesday.
"The government put all its tourism eggs in the Rugby World Cup basket for 2011, with no follow up, and now we're seeing the results."
Mr Little says Mr Key has admitted in answers to written parliamentary questions that he hasn't taken a single paper on tourism strategy to cabinet this year.
"Perhaps when he returns from his latest trip he can spare some time for the situation at home," Mr Little said.
Mr Key has been in Latin America for the past two weeks and is due to return on Thursday.