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A bad message to send

20/03/2021

There are many reasons why this is a bad message to send:

1 Past economic studies have pointed out that these tourists spend more on activities, especially in more out of the way places, than those who just spend a few days and go to Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown and leave.

2 Legal or not, many of these people provide much needed casual labour to pick fruit for example, which like it or not, many Kiwis will not

3 Adventure tourism ventures, for which NZ is renowned, obtain much of their business from such tourists

4 As I noted above, these tourists are more likely to venture beyond the mainstream locations and thus reduce the visitor impact in major hubs, whilst bringing people and revenue to many lesser known locations

5 These early in life visits are likely to create a desire to return. A lesson learned many years ago by other countries, is that if you attract visitors when they are young and relatively impecunious they are more likely to come back, especially if they have good memories.

6 There are many countries seeking the tourist $. In the post COVID world sending negative messages such as this, may, nay will well create the impression that we are unwelcoming. This is quite likely, in my view, to result in these people never coming to NZ, even if they become wealthy.

7 younger, backpacking people are more likely to be accepting of the nature of the accommodation and facilities in NZ, especially in the smaller locations which need the influx of revenue.

8 Many places in NZ are not nesscessarily where well heeled and older tourists wish to go

9 There will be a knock on effect on the reputation of the country as a place to do business. That effect will be a negative one, of not wanting people or business.

10 NZ should not seek to be a place just for the well heeled, it is not NZ, nor is it wise to focus so much on just one segment of the market.

11 Impression of arrogance is given and that NZ is doing the tourist a favour, when in fact the tourists are in fact doing NZ a favour.

12 By all means segment the market, but I would suggest that our tourism future lies in attracting tourists who will explore all that we have to offer. Our future does not, or should not, be the highly structured, if it’s Tuesday it must be Rotorua type of coach tour going from one over priced, over frequented location to another.

My initial thoughts.

In my view Nash is wrong and he needs to change his approach and very quickly. Tourism is a very large part of our GDP, we need it else we are in real strife.

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