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Sunday , May 28 2017

Tourism study shows Kiwis are concerned about tourism impacts

A new study for Tourism New Zealand and Tourism Industry Aotearoa shows 21 percent of New Zealanders are worried that too many overseas tourists are visiting.

Although the majority overwhelmingly support international tourism, some say it puts too much pressure on New Zealand.

The twice-yearly Mood of the Nation survey, found 96 percent of New Zealanders agreed or strongly agreed that international tourism is good for the country but the proportion who think the country attracts too many tourists based on actual numbers has risen from 13 percent in December 2015 to 21 percent in March this year.

The proportion of those worried about the pressure of tourism is highest in Otago – which includes Queenstown and the southern lakes where visitor numbers have soared, and 62 percent of those in Otago say their region is ill-equipped to deal with the pressure from tourism.

The main benefits of international tourism are considered to be business opportunities and employment opportunities, while the biggest concern is infrastructure, with 44 percent agreeing that tourism is putting pressure on it.

Those who were particularly negative about tourism were likely to be more concerned about the environmental impact and difficulty New Zealanders have in competing with international visitors for accommodation.

When told of forecast growth in annual visitor numbers, 37 percent felt there was too much growth, while 54 percent said it was just right and 9 percent not enough.

Hospitality New Zealand manager of accommodation, partnerships and communication, Rachael Shadbolt, said Kiwis would have to get used to booking well in advance for a place to stay at peak towns during peak periods.

“Kiwis have been pretty good at rocking up and expecting to get accommodation. They would have to treat it as they did booking flights – planning well ahead.”

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