INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tourism threatened by GE report

Published: Wed 1 Aug 2001 09:27 AM
31 July 2001
Tourism threatened by GE report
"Tourism, New Zealand's single largest industry, would suffer significantly if the Government allows genetically engineered organisms to be released into the natural environment and the Tourism Board's multi-million dollar branding campaign would lose credibility," says Green Party tourism spokesperson Rod Donald.
"New Zealand's clean, green image would be seriously undermined if the Royal Commission's recommendations to embrace genetic engineering are implemented," Rod Donald said.
Our natural, unspoilt image is one of the main reasons we are an attractive destination for overseas visitors.
"This is recognised by the Tourism Board spends millions of dollars each year branding New Zealand as '100% pure'.
"The Board's branding will be subverted if New Zealand loses its GE free status and inbound tourism, especially the FIT (free and independent travel) market will certainly suffer if GE is not stopped," he said
The GE issue parallels the nuclear issue, according to Mr Donald.
"I was working in the tourism industry when New Zealand went nuclear free.
"Far from having a negative impact, our nuclear free status lead to an immediate influx of young tourists from Europe and the USA in particular. These visitors keep coming back. Indeed, many have moved here.
"Letting GE in the door will undoubtedly have the opposite effect - at considerable cost to the tourism sector and therefore to the economy as a whole."
"It is timely to raise the consequences of going down the GE road on the eve of the Knowledge Wave conference where sector leaders will be discussing how New Zealand can best make its mark in the world.
"We hope attendees will apply their wisdom as well as their knowledge to the issues and opportunities facing our nation," he said.
ENDS

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