TOURISM has been the big-ticket item on New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s agenda while travelling around on her recent trip to Australia, taking with her a large contingent of travel and tourism stakeholders, including her country’s Minister for Tourism Stuart Nash.
While on her trip Down Under, she urged tourism bodies on both sides of the Tasman need to combine their efforts and resources in a bid to attract travellers from around the world.
“We can and should do more together,” Ardern argued at a Tourism Australia event in Sydney, adding that in the eyes of international tourists, most see Australia and New Zealand as a combined travel opportunity.
“We need to look at how both countries can collaboratively benefit,” Ardern added.
While attracting more tourists to this remote region of the world was a clear message from the NZ leader, she was also keen to qualify her message, adding that any influx of travellers should never be at the expense of either country’s natural assets.
New Zealand has been very vocal in recent months about its objectives to attract not only a healthy numbers of tourists, but also the type of visitor who understands the need to be respectful to the country’s culture and environment.
NZ’s Tourism Minister has previously labelled this type of traveller “high value”, not to be conflated with high-spending tourists, with the redefinition an effort to keep the local tourism sector booming and making it sustainable over time.
Ardern also highlighted the need for a “level regulatory playing field” to allow businesses such as airlines and tour operators to compete fairly, while at the same event, Tourism Australia chief Phillipa Harrison assured attendees that that “both countries are in the top five wishlists” for long-haul visitors.