The end of tourism?
An interesting Australian article that's relevant to our own experience with overseas visitors and how their sheer numbers have the potential to overwhelm our backcountry resource. "Tourism operators are being told to focus on relationships rather than destinations, or risk repeating the mass-tourism mistakes of Barcelona and Venice. Key points: Tourist operators are finding travellers want to have a positive impact upon communities and the environment Denmark now shuns the term 'tourist' in favour of short or long-term resident People-to-people connections have been found to lead to repeat visitation Stewart Moore, the CEO of Earthcheck, said backlash against mass-tourism globally shows the industry has been more concerned with marketing than destination management." https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-28/untourist-movement-kicks-against-global-mass-tourism/11344940
its one thing for tourists to do their own research, get informaed and make their own mind up about coming to nz. its another when far larger numbers of come here based mainly on heavy marketing.. ones who are likely to have done less homework on average and may be more likely to be general tourists who care less about how they treat the local environment and how easily damaged it can be.. and may be more likely to need to be rescued because they are more ignorant about the specifics of what its like being in the outdoors and mountains in NZ. and all the provincial areas that get thrashed now by tourists that dont have the infrastructure put into them to help them cope with the vast no's of tourists brought in by the marketing campaigns
I have nothing against tourists except that there is 4 million of them every year. In perspective every man woman child that lives here hosts one tourist every year. The obvious answer is to cap tourist visas but that will never happen as tourism is our second biggest earner and to do so would have a very negative effect on the economy.Because of the way international trade works every dollar a tourist spends here is 2 dollars we dont have to spend overseas to buy stuff made overseas. We may not like the number of tourists but we cant afford not to welcome them with open arms
part of the problem is the rapid expansion in tourist no's means the infrastructure to deal with them is always lagging far behind...
true but also how many people can go to Tongarero crossing? If you want to double that number how do you do it? How many people can Rotorua or Queenstown accommodate? Where are you going to put the extra hotels. How can twice as many people visit whakawherawera?
I have heard a suggestion that we could enable Te Araroa walkers to come back and do volunteer track work on Te Araroa. The person I talked to reckoned there would be a lot of walkers who would be very keen to participate. In the US, the trails are maintained by volunteers.
I have an answer to my earlier question. Street lights on the Tongariro crossing. I hope no one who has the ability to make that happen reads my post.
in the US the trails are maintained by US volunteers, most are getting on in years and there arent enough young omes replacing them, the vast majority of TA walkers are from overseas on tight time schedules, they finish the walk and fly back overseas..
I was reading an article today about voluntourism in Cambodia.It is a big problem for the skilled locals as it prevents them from being employed and upskilled. The author stayed seversl years and administrated a venture where she was the only foreigner and eventually reached her goal of no longer being required to run things.
If a country can afford to pay people to do all the required work then there is no need to volunteer. However I dont think any country can afford to pay for every desirable project
I just want to add that not all TA walkers skip country after finishing, never to return. When I was walking through Nelson Lakes last year, the volunteer hut warden at Blue Lake was an ex-TA walker from California. Actually,now that I think of it, 3 of the 4 hut wardens in the park at that time were American volunteers. I'm sure that they are in the minority, but it would seem that there is a proportion of tourists who are willing to volunteer their time along the TA trail (most likely so they can be part of the TA walking comradery one last time) Cheers, Moh
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