New Zealand as a tourism destination is quite demanded. The popularity of New Zealand rises considerably among foreign tourists – there is an expectation of a 4% growth in the next five years. The country’s main attraction is its natural beauty and it has also gained on popularity because of the Lord of the Rings movie that was made here. Adrenalin sports lovers also head towards New Zealand. It has more bungee jump sites than can be found anywhere else. Sometimes it is even called the adrenalin capital of the world since it is the country where the first commercial bungee jump took place. There are also possibilities for white and black water rafting as well as for mountain climbing.
The mixture of Maori and European cultural heritage makes it also attractive. Last but not least the greatest advantage is that the country is not crowded. It is about the same size as Britain or Japan, but it has a population of just 4.2 million. Another important boost to New Zealand’s popularity as a tourism destination will come in 2011, when it will host the Rugby World Cup. This event will be widely observed through internet and TV and it will also bring numerous sport fans to the country.
The importance of the tourism industry for the New Zealand’s economy steadily rises. Ten per cent of the country’s workforce is employed in tourism and in 2006 it generated 9% of the country"s GDP. Current unemployment rate in New Zealand is around 3.5%. This, however, can change in a bitter problem. Experts warn that the growing tourism industry may face a serious lack of skilled workforce in the future. Tourism officials in cooperation with businesses thus make steps that should increase the pool of suitably trained people. Another difficulty is caused by the fact that New Zealand as well as Australia are accessible mainly by air. The growing air travel and its negative impact on the world’s climate is thus a big issue here since New Zealand wants to keep promoting itself as a 100% pure country.