'Out of reach': Kiwis say some tourist experiences too expensive

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash visiting Queenstown in November

Kiwis travelling at home want different experiences to overseas tourists and are worried about the cost of some experiences.

A Tourism New Zealand survey out today finds that international pricing is too high for some locals.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash says research finds domestic tourists are put off by activities that are too expensive, and the experience is spoiled if it feels too "touristy".

One survey respondent said of an experience: "For them [British visitors] it would just be £50, for us it's $100. And when you start thinking of a family of four doing the activity that just becomes out of reach."

Focus groups and face-to-face interviews were used in the survey which is aimed at helping the industry adjust to the impact of Covid-19 on borders and international visitors who have disappeared during the past 10 months.

The loss of overseas visitors will cost the country $12.9 billion a year.

"Tourism operators also suggested some in the industry had focused too much on profits and neglected the quality of the experience and tourism's impact on small communities. Others had undervalued the role of Māori culture and needed to better connect with it," ash said.

Queenstown, an adventure capital, is feeling the effects of Covid-19 and the downturn in...
Queenstown, an adventure capital, is feeling the effects of Covid-19 and the downturn in international visitors. Photo: Getty Images
The research found Kiwis are looking much more closely at their own backyard and at regions and attractions they may have taken for granted in the past.

While domestic tourists had different expectations from international travellers, there was much common ground. Like international tourists, domestic travellers are attracted by the country's special qualities, such as landscapes, friendly people and safe reputation.

"However, Kiwis are more inclined to seek out local history and culture, hidden gems that are not well known, and personal connections,"' he said.

Domestic travellers want more unique experiences and the research shows an ideal regional holiday involves a personalised itinerary. It combines activities like walking, cycling, and food and beverage experiences; with events like a cultural performance, festival, or sports.

"There is also work to be done to champion the unique tourism experiences of local destinations. For example, researchers suggest an area like Rotorua, with its health spas, could be a 'fly and flop' destination to rival holidays that Kiwis used to take in Bali or Fiji."

The research showed Kiwis thought tourism was under pressure even before the pandemic closed borders, Nash said.

"They saw regions struggling with the sheer number of visitors, and problems with freedom camping and littering. The research suggests pressure on infrastructure and the environment had created a tipping point for tourism."

The survey also finds New Zealanders were aware that the industry needs their help to keep it going while borders are closed.

"Looking ahead there is a desire among New Zealanders to attract a specific type of international visitor but to do so it's important that infrastructure exists to meet their expectations," the survey results say.

"As such, New Zealanders are open and receptive to being asked to help keep the industry going but it needs to align with their needs from a leisure holiday."

Nash said work to support and rebuild the tourism and hospitality sectors "remains ongoing".



Minister Nash is on to it, clearly.
I hope Brett Duncan takes note and advises members of his NZ Backpacker Youth and Adventure Tourism Association accordingly. It's time to stop playing the "poor me" game and overmanning for a Govt handout, Mr Duncan. Get off your backside and do something to help yourself instead of making excuses. (I'm referring to his opinion piece that appeared in the ODT on Monday 26th).

Don't need the government involved here spending the money they steal from me. The free market will sort this out.

This article is very inciteful to understand what Kiwis are looking for.

However, as to the respondent that is quoted: "One survey respondent said of an experience: "For them [British visitors] it would just be £50, for us it's $100."

I couldn't disagree more!

In the UK the minimum wage is about 8.75 pounds an hour (equivalent to about 16.75 NZD). In NZ the minimum wage per hour is about 18.90 NZD. It would indeed take less effort in NZ to earn enough to pay for the experience, and most Kiwis live in NZ and don't have to fly all the way from the UK.

Of course, when it comes to travel, Kiwis often bring the kids and that's where the costs soar. Often folks from the UK don't bring the kids due to the high costs of round the world global travel.

The market will sort it out, the over priced businesses will lower their prices or go bust.
Tourism is an environmental disaster, if it dies very few Kiwis will be impacted.

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