Tourism Minister's suggestion Kiwis could pay less, tourists pay more shot down by Queenstown operator

Newly minted Tourism Minister Peeni Henare's suggestion that Kiwis could pay less than tourists has been shot down by one tourism operator. 

On Monday, the NZ Herald reports Henare flagged his concern about "extreme" price rises seen with some tourism operators.

"I do think prices are steep at the moment."

While the Minister said he appreciates operators were recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, he expects prices to drop as tourism begins to pick up.

"But it is one of those things I’ll be monitoring closely. As important as it is to talk to the operators, it’s just as important to talk to the consumers and many are saying things are expensive."

But Henare's suggestion that Kiwis could pay less than tourists hasn't hit the mark with Queenstown's Ziptrek Ecotour executive director Trent Yeo. 

Yeo told AM everyone is worried about the prices of everything, but believes there is a lot on offer that is accessible for Kiwis.

Yeo is concerned it will become "complex" and "hard to deliver fairly" if there are different price points between Kiwis and visitors. 

"We would just like to think that the value we present is good value for everyone and the quality of our tourism's really on an international level. So that's kind of the price of doing business."

Yeo told AM, Ziptrek Ecotour's prices have stayed the same and didn't drop during COVID-19, he did say prices may go up in the next year. 

He did say Kiwis may be in a bit of shock following some discounts seen in the aftermath of COVID-19. 

"New Zealand tourism is just so good and we're here at an international event and we're showing it on an international stage. And I kind of think the prices are very, very fair and a good range of prices for lots of different types of people."

Watch Yeo's full interview above.