Got my Neil Young ticket. And my Laneways ticket. Check. And with any luck, a Stone Roses ticket.
I live near the Manukau coast. Havent had the fortune of visiting the West Coast for over 25 years, will be rectifying that with my children this January. Cannot speak with any authority at all on impact of tourism on the area. Can speak with some authority on tourism trends.
Fair enough Islander, I have not seen the effects of tourism on the West Coast. But maybe that detrimental impact supports an argument that NZ should be targeting quality rather than quantity in terms of tourism?
The tourism data isn't telling a simple story. total number of visitors has grown. total spend of visitors has declined. we think that is predominantly because of the market shifts going on around the world (as Chris W points out China is now NZs second biggest tourism market) as global growth shifts from west to east, and because of the changing patterns of visitor stay (which are for a range of reasons including direct air-links or lack thereof, ease of independent travel, etc.
For what its worth (and I am the son of a coal-miner who votes Labour/Green) I think the PM has done a great job as tourism minister. But I also believe NZ will never be able to compete long-term with other tourism destinations like Thailand on a mass-market basis (as we will not be able to in agriculture), so our tourism future is more viable as a premium market, which infers higher value, and higher protection of what makes it premium.
The counter to that is, while tourism is responsible for 1 in 10 NZ jobs, for decades they have been (and are) seen as relatively low pay jobs, and in many quarters not seen as where NZ's future economic growth priorities should lie. That future is seen as high-tech agriculture and manufacturing amongst others.
So where does a famously effective (and too widely appropriated) tourism brand such as 100% Pure sit in that debate.
Lol - the best analogy for cultural cringe I've heard.
I've got no quarrel with Mike Joy, who is one of the messengers in an important debate that NZ has to have, but I do lament the way that the debate has been unfolding.
A couple of laments;
There is an element in our media culture (Gordon MacLaughlin may argue it is inherent in kiwi culture) that wants to scour the world looking for negative perceptions to highlight back to ourselves. Our rugby media is a great example.
Whatever the merits of those offshore perceptions, the reality is that they are usually centred on issues all countries are grappling with.
I also lament the way in which NZ tourism seems to have become a lightning rod for much of this debate. After all, while it is one of our (if not the) largest export industries, I would argue that tourism, per se, is not the major contributing industry to environmental standards.
The issue seems to be partly (largely?) about the '100% Pure' slogan. Conceived many years ago for solely tourism purposes, it’s been a particularly powerful tourism brand that other countries tourism organisations have openly admired and envied. It’s been a major reason for tourism growth in NZ, and for why NZ is frequently cited offshore as a desirable destination. But even at the time it was developed it was recognised that it should not be interpreted by other industries as a literal guarantee.
Over many years, the '100% Pure' has been co-opted by many other NZ industries and interests, for purposes far beyond its original conception. Yet tourism (in my view) unfairly seems to wear much of the flack of inevitable ire when environmental eality collides with brand promise.