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[其它国家] 【新西兰《Stuff》】新西兰:美丽背后有其丑陋一面

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发表于 2017-12-7 19:18:48 | 只看该作者 回帖奖励 |倒序浏览 |阅读模式
New Zealand: Being beautiful has its ugly side
新西兰:美丽背后有其丑陋一面

【日期】2017年12月7日

【连接】https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/n ... l-has-its-ugly-side

【备注】99条评论   无需翻墙   无敏感词

【全文】

Our 100% Pure tourist marketing campaign has long-attracted calls of hypocrisy.

OPINION: Sounds of the Kiwi summer: Barbecues igniting, L&P cans opening, lawnmowers rumbling to life, seagulls squawking overhead and, perhaps more recently – jumbo-jets landing, freedom campervans spluttering and our tourist infrastructure creaking under the weight of our own popularity.

Airline executives, hotel owners and tour guides might be licking their lips in anticipation as the tourist season bursts into life, but a growing number of New Zealanders are questioning whether one of our biggest industries is proving too popular for its own good. Through lack of infrastructure investment, has it been set up to fail – or at least underwhelm?

Our 100% Pure tourist marketing campaign has long-attracted calls of hypocrisy (and again recently, here and here), but now that we admit we aren't 100% Pure for travellers can we also say we also not 100 per cent ready for the oncoming onslaught of tourist arrivals?

It is naive to think any industry that grows to become your country's largest export (worth $ 14.5bn each year) would be without what economist wonks call "negative externalities" and what normal people call "consequences".


Ah summer! The beach, the barbecues, and the sound of our tourist infrastructure crumbling.

Dairy has run-off and farting cows, mining has tailings, fishing has bycatch: There is at least one for every industry. It's just that the powers that be were slow to realise or didn't want to turn off the tourist dollar tap (apparently, it's part of tourism minister's job to be relentlessly happy about all tourists, whether or not they know how to drive or how to use a rubbish bin).

There are countless players in the industry who squark about the more than 1.6 million inbound tourist visitors in the year to October. This is a good news story, right? Aren't we doing well? Never mind factory closures and blue-collar jobs going overseas, the tourism sector is here to save the day (never mind the low-paid and highly seasonal work).


It's naive to think tourism, our country's largest export, would be without consequences.

Tourists flocked in but, the eventual hangover of our popularity took a while to kick in and now that it has (and 35 per cent of Kiwis polled said current tourist numbers put too much pressure on the country), few are willing to put their hands up and take responsibility.

In February, Parliament was presented with a petition calling for a basic driving test to be introduced for tourist drivers, but politicians did nothing with it. Given it is the goose laying the golden egg, how has tourism infrastructure investment been ignored for so long?

You'd be forgiven for thinking the most recent long-serving minister of tourism had fallen out with the prime minister or at least didn't have his ear. But not only did he have the prime minister's ear, but both of them, along with his face and body too. Yes, former prime minister and tourism minister John Key certainly was an effective salesman, waving the flag on the world stage to get people down to our little corner of the world, but was this matched with enough cash and infrastructure to deal with the influx of travellers once they landed? It seems not.

Key was there, smiling with an airline boss for the latest iteration of promoting the "Great Walks of New Zealand" at the start of the decade, the New York Times and other international media came and cooed about their brilliance. The number of tramping tourists only went up.


Tourism, thankfully, is for the most part a feel good industry.

Funding for DoC, which runs the sites, was frozen.The DoC manager at Mt Cook had a point when he said that Tourism New Zealand does a great job getting people to New Zealand, but isn't up to par when it comes to looking after them once they get through the arrivals gate. We still all acted surprised to hear the pristine landscapes around the Tongariro Crossing were being rubbished and pooed on because of the lack of facilities.

Only in August this year did Key's successor Paula Bennett stump up $100m in a fund for local councils to apply for. Cash is on its way, but hasn't come soon enough for the worshippers at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo, who have to adopt temporary measures to deal with the disruption, destruction and defecation that came with the spike in tourists.

Nobody, it seems, thought there'd be a downside of being on New Zealand's most Instagrammed rankings. Taxpayers' ire can be spread widely though – if only local councils had the same enthusiasm for car-parks, public loos and other tourism infrastructure as their marketing departments have for attracting the holiday-makers in the first place.


The gorgeous Lake Tekapō routinely shows up on lists of the most Instagrammed locations.

Some aspects of our "tourism product offering" (to use awful industry speak) can't be changed, such as our tourist hotspots spread over a vast area, but others can be, such as the over-promotion and reliance on fly-and-drive tours as the predominant way to see our country. God forbid we suggest they use public transport for part of their trip or even make sure they're road-worthy.

Tourism, thankfully, is for the most part a feel good industry. It makes us prouder of our country to know that we put on a good show, can share with visitors our wonderful scenery and leave them more refreshed than when they arrived. Industry players must come together – and stump up cash – to ensure a quality tourism experience for visitor and host alike.

For too long though, the brutal demands of hosting an influx of visitors have been ignored like a mum smiling and shrugging when the umpteenth guest arrives at the bach even though there's just one loo and the fridge and cupboards are looking rather bare.


The Southern Cross above the Church of the Good Shepherd on the shore of Lake Tekapo.

Some food for thought as the summer tourist wave comes ashore.
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