New Zealand’s economy has benefitted from the influx of foreign tourists, although the situation has caused concern whether the country has any contingency plan to address peaking numbers.
The country’s local population is relatively the same with Ireland, which has around 4 million people. The European country attracts an estimated 8 million travellers per year, while there are around 3.5 million foreigners that visit New Zealand every year, according to Auckland Airport CEO Adrian Littlewood.
Some of the supposed economic benefits of a booming tourism sector include foreigners’ transactions for exchanging travel money at changers like No.1 Currency in New Zealand. Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon said that the industry should work harder to lure those that spend more and stay longer in the country.
As Luxon believes that the country reaches its peak tourism numbers, particularly from China, the focus should switch from attracting more visitors to seeking more valuable tourists. He cited “productivity” as one challenge, although this provides the sector with an opportunity to achieve an extra $9 billion of value.
New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English has recognised the importance of tourism investments, as indicated by his recent trip to Niue. The island finally has its first hotel, the Matavai Resort, which will allow it to become a venue for events and conferences, according to English.
The development of tourism facilities in Niue takes places as the government seeks to diversify travel attractions in the country. This will help in spreading the number of tourists, reduce the environmental impact and stimulate the local economies, English said.
Tourism serves as a good economic driver for any country. For New Zealand, the country needs to strategise a sustainable way on attracting more premium visitors instead of focusing on solely increasing their numbers, which could do more harm than good to the economy.