Over-tourism a threat to New Zealand's authenticity - expert

A lone tramper on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, fine weather and blue skies..
A lone tramper on the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Photo credit: Getty

Sustainability experts believe tourists are being sold a false idea of our country, and Kiwis' tolerance is wearing thin.

A conference at Massey University today is discussing how to deal with an influx of visitors.

Prof Regina Scheyvens of Massey University told Newshub there are plenty of issues to discuss.

"The authenticity of both natural and cultural experiences in New Zealand, which are the primary reason people come to this country can be damaged by over-tourism."

Prof Scheyvens says not enough money is spent on conservation and some areas are not managed correctly.

"New Zealand as a whole trades on this idea that its 100 percent pure, yet some of our beautiful natural places are being spoilt by lack of management."

She fears locals may start to resent tourism, if visitor numbers increase and this could lead to tension.

"There's always those who are benefitting directly from tourism because they run tourism businesses so I think we're likely to get more divided communities."


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