Mark Thomas - New Mayor for Auckland

Coping with Visitors

There are reports from New Zealand that it continues to struggle with visitor growth, as the country keeps breaking tourist records. The country’s Business ministry says it will hit 5 million in 5 years time. Queue anguished groans from particularly remote tourist hot spots with inadequate infrastructure.

But the Gold Coast, where I was recently for the Commonwealth Games, is coping with that level right now. The GC is roughly a fifth the size of New Zealand (a bit bigger than Auckland) and they get 1.1 million overseas tourists now.

Tourism is New Zealand’s second largest export earner and with greater growth expected, the response is not to become like the GC – but to take a good look at sensible public/private development and infrastructure planning.


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