Price hike for Great Walks one year on
Love it or hate it, more kiwis are doing the Great Walks since the differential fees got introduced. Here's a summary from the article... # Price hike for Great Walks: More money, fewer tourists [article link](https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/388842/price-hike-for-great-walks-more-money-fewer-tourists) >Increased pricing for tourists on some of the Great Walks tracks this past summer has meant far fewer tourists but an extra $2.4 million for the Department of Conservation. > >The 2018/19 season had 31 percent fewer international adult visitors to the tracks, but 37 percent more adult New Zealanders compared to the previous year. ![visitor figures](https://www.radionz.co.nz/assets/news/194480/four_col_Screen_Shot_2019-05-09_at_1.26.33_PM.jpg) >The trial had three objectives: >*improve access to the Great Walks for people usually resident in New Zealand >*increase the proportion of costs that are received from international users >*charge international visitors a fee that more fairly reflects the high value of the experience > >"The independent evaluation of the differential pricing trial found the trial met two of its three objectives - increasing access for New Zealand residents to the walks and international visitors contributing more towards the costs of the walks," Ms White said. > >"However, the third objective - that the fee more fairly reflected the true value of these experiences - had a more mixed response. New Zealand residents generally supported it but international visitors less so. While we want to ensure access for New Zealand residents on these walks, it's also important we listen to our international guests. Next season's results will inform how we price our experiences longer term." > >The extra $2.4m from the trial would be used to maintain the tracks so the department could focus its funding on core conservation work, she said.
There's definitely been more kiwis on the Routeburn this past summer, from my personal observations. Its pretty rude charging $130 a night, but maybe the ends justify the means?
I did the Kepler about a month ago and the huts were 75% full with a mix of NZ'ers and overseas visitors. I asked the visitors if the prices bothered them and about half said yes it was very expensive. As a result some skipped the last hut and went straight out to Rainbow Reach on the last day. None of the NZ'ers did. It had been sometime since I last did a Great Walk and I think the price is about right for NZ'ers. Considering you get gas supplied, a very well maintained track and best of all, you don't have to go outside to the dunny!
i watched the bookings for the fiordland great walks the day they opened, at xmas the routeburn and milford tracks filled up in minutes, thats how popular they are, on previous years it would have been more competitive with more foreigners trying to get bookings... something had to be done , i've been there and there had literally been almost or no other kiwis in the fiordland great walks huts ... i've been there when they werent full and still not a lot of kiwis , so i wonder if a lot of kiwis have just started avoiding them.
> I asked the visitors if the prices bothered them and about half said yes it was very expensive. It'd vary depending on demographic. For simple sorts of international visitors the cost has simply doubled, but the overall cost for something like a family group with 2 adults and 2+ children will have gone up by an order of magnitude. Previously they'd have been paying regular prices for mum and dad, with children free. Now they pay double that, and double the whole cost again (4 times the original amount) for 2 children who were previously free. If they're here on cheap flights from Australia, where they mightn't have planned to do much other for the whole trips than stay in the DOC huts, it'd be a massive difference for the total cost of their trip. I'm cautiously okay with this because I don't really see why we should be subsidising people's international holidays, especially if they're just flying in and flying out, but with how it was implemented it'd have caught some people by surprise. When the increases were first announced, I saw at least one frustrated person in the facebook forums who'd already booked their family flights. They'd been waiting for the DOC bookings to open, but were informed just a couple of days beforehand that the booking prices were massively more than they'd expected.
I've thought about the tourist charges and I agree that they are paying a very large amount. Yes I agree tourists should pay more, but double seems too excessive (especially they are getting towards $150 a night per person). It's dealing with the problem using a blunt hammer. Why not have a reserved user category system (tourists and residents), where a certain percentage of the tickets are reserved for residents when they are released. If not all the tickets in one of the user categories are sold two weeks before the indicated date, then it is made available to the other category. On the peak periods, the tickets can be awarded using a lottery system. I'm not sure how they identify if you are a resident online, but I would get each person wanting to book to be registered with RealMe (or an authority/organisation like a school or registered tramping club)
foreigners could juset book as locals and just turn up to pick up their tickets when they are booked and say it must have been a mistake, and try and get on the track anyway pleading they had travelled so far to get there.
Hi @pseudo. > but double seems too excessive (especially they are getting towards $150 a night per person). I don't see why, though. Give or take that's roughly what you'd pay per night for a motel in a populated area, and it'd cost considerably less per person for multiple people. Sure you don't get a flushing toilet and it's more like a backpackers, but back-country huts are also in remote places that are difficult and expensive to service. Furthermore, management plans usually cap the number of people who are allowed to stay there. Whatever people might think about fairness or not, this stuff is expensive and has to be paid for by someone. When users don't pay for it, DOC has to from the funding we give it. Even with the prices as they are now, some Great Walks are barely breaking even from user costs, and that only depends on how the accounting is presented. I can see plenty of rationale for subsidising the experiences of people who live in our society and help contribute back with what they've gained from those experiences, and that's a big part of why completely free youth tickets were introduced to begin with, but I see less rationale for subsidising people's holidays when they just go home to their own countries afterwards. If people don't want to pay that much when they visit, there are plenty of alternative options which aren't Great Walks.
you do get a flush toilet. a lot of tax payers money has built the tracks and huts and it costs a fortune to maintain them, keep the tracks clear tourists arent contributing as much as the average nz taxpayer has to the DOC estate in their lifetime, regardless of whether they enter the DOC estate much.. they have to fly all the sewerage out and gas in that you get to cook on... its what gets charged on similar tracks overseas and people still flock to pay that much... yo're also contributing to conservation and helping the preservation of endangered species...
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