By not adequately funding tourism and infrastructure to deal with it, the government is putting the industry at risk, says New Zealand First Tourism Spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau.
“Last summer it was obvious councils up and down the country did not have the toilets or facilities to cope with the massive numbers and we’re seeing the same thing this summer.
“Councils looked to government for funding but all they received was a miserable $12 million through the Regional Mid-Size Tourist Facilities Fund.
“This summer Hahei in the Coromandel has endured major problems because of tourism demand; areas near the Huka Falls Rd have been littered with human excrement and this is being repeated all over the country.
“The government takes huge money out of tourism grabbing $929 million from GST on international visitor spending each year giving them a surplus of $630 million and these figures are going up rapidly.
“Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) has warned (Tourism Infrastructure Study, November 30, 2016) underinvestment in tourism and infrastructure ‘could potentially reverse the benefits New Zealand has enjoyed from its robust tourism growth to date.’
“Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says the industry has ‘pressure points’ (Southland Times, January 10, 2017). They’re more than that – they’re boiling points.
“We’ve seen it for ourselves and feedback from the industry and councils has been loud and clear just how bad it is.
“A soon to be released TIA report will confirm the detail; then the apathetic National government and Ms Bennett will have to stump up with a lot more than $12 million,” Mr Tabuteau says.
As released by NZ First Website