TOURISM is New Zealand’s biggest export in terms of foreign exchange.
The industry scored the country a whopping US$24 billion in revenues in 2016.
But with rising numbers, is New Zealand’s natural landscapes taking a beating?
Federated Mountain Club (FMC), an umbrella organization for 80 hiking groups across the country, said in a statement: “Tourism impacts on infrastructure are obvious. Roads, car parks, campsites, conservation honeypots, even recreation access across private land, all are creaking under the load, much of which is down to sheer numbers.”
Locals are also not happy about footing the bill to maintain and repair infrastructure.
While waste removal and campsite clearing charges are rising, some New Zealanders have expressed frustration their taxpayer dollars are going towards cleaning up after tourists’ mess.
Environmental impact is also inevitable for New Zealand as water quality reduces and energy sources deplete.
Waikato University’s Sandi Ringham told Stuff, “Tourists and citizens alike are convinced of a clean green image of New Zealand by not only marketing strategies, but also the physical greenness of the landscape.”
If New Zealand doesn’t take preventive measures to maintain its stunning landscapes, the renowned 100% Pure New Zealand tourism campaign could take a hit, and subsequently, so will its revenues.