Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean says wine tourism is an exciting new growth area in Central Otago, providing yet another attraction to encourage visitors to the area.
“Chinese tourists in particular are interested in visiting wineries, providing local communities with a good opportunity to tap into the growing tourism numbers coming into the country.
“Our Central Otago wines are world class, with cellar door experiences a great opportunity for local winegrowers to showcase their wines.
“Winegrowers are also investing in updating and expanding their facilities for tourists which reflects a growing confidence, on the back of increased tourist numbers.
“In Central Otago, tourism expenditure has grown by 12.9 percent in the year to December 2016. Nationally, tourism expenditure is forecasted to grow by 65 per cent to $16 billion in 2022.
“Of course this growth is buoying the Central Otago economy, creating expansion, new jobs and business confidence.
“However, the Government also recognises the need to balance pressures on local communities and infrastructure challenges, so that we can maintain high quality visitor experiences.
“The Government’s tourism strategy is doing just that - by better coordinating government efforts and spending to support growth in the sector.
“In addition to the $130 million we spend on tourism each year, the Government is investing a further $45 million over the next four years. This includes $12 million in regional infrastructure so that communities can accommodate increased demand.”