New Zealand’s tourism minister has again expressed his aversion to budget travellers, saying the country will not seek to attract those who “travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles”.
Stuart Nash said the country would unashamedly continue to focus on “high quality” big spenders, despite one expert saying such visitors typically had a much higher environmental footprint and didn’t necessarily contribute more to the economy.
At an announcement on last Wednesday about plans to bolster the tourism workforce as the country’s borders reopened, Nash said the country would continue to focus on “big spender” visitors. “In terms of targeting our marketing spin, it is unashamedly going to be at … high-quality tourists,” he said.
"We are going to welcome backpackers … [but] we are not going to target the people who put on Facebook how they can travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.”
While the minister has said backpackers and lower-budget visitors were still welcome in New Zealand, his focus on rich tourists has been controversial in the past.
In 2020, Nash said the country would “unashamedly” target the super wealthy, and seek to attract the kind of tourist who “flies business class or premium economy, hires a helicopter, does a tour round Franz Josef and then eats at a high-end restaurant”. The proposals attracted some heat, with one commentator calling them “snobby, elitist and out of touch.”