Major regional differences in the way Kiwis look at tourism

 Thursday, May 9, 2019 


The attitude of the New Zealanders toward tourism depends immensely on where they reside, as per the recent Mood of the Nation research.


The Mood of the Nation research is taken on by Kantar TNS on behalf of Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Tourism New Zealand twice a year (November and March) to evaluate the perceptions of New Zealanders’ in terms of international tourism.


To quote TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts, “At the end of a busy summer tourism season, the latest research has highlighted big regional differences in attitudes to tourism. Auckland and Wellington residents are the most positive towards tourism while the highest levels of concern are in Queenstown and the West Coast.”


“However, since the survey was carried out, the West Coast tourism industry suffered a significant setback when the Waiho Bridge at Franz Josef was washed out, closing the through route along State Highway 6 for almost three weeks. Businesses along the whole length of the West Coast suffered, highlighting the importance of tourism to the region’s economy.”


The review emphasizes major difference in attitudes between Queenstown residents and those living in other areas of Otago. The residents of Queenstown are more probably to think there is too much pressure from foreign visitors (76%) in comparison to the rest of Otago (47%). Also, Queenstown residents have more issues around traffic congestion, accommodation prices, road accidents and staff shortages.


To quote Mr. Roberts, “Queenstown is a hugely popular destination for Kiwis and international visitors, who pour billions of dollars into the Queenstown economy. While locals do generally acknowledge the benefits of tourism, they also experience the pressures of growth.”


“For our most popular destinations, the tourism industry must work closely with central and local government to improve visitor management. For less visited regions, more can be done to encourage regional dispersal.” Over 1000 New Zealand tourism operators are signed up currently to the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment – indicating their aid for delivering first-class tourism industry that is financially, environmentally and socially sustainable.


“While our industry has economic goals, we also want to share the benefits with our host communities, to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural environment, and to continue to be a high-class destination of choice for international and domestic travellers,” Mr. Roberts says.

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