HOW MANY IS TOO MANY TOURISTS?

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment report on Tourism Infrastructure, which identifies the effects on National Parks of too many tourists, is the tip of the iceberg according to the NZ Outdoors Party. The Outdoors Party advocates for outdoor values including environmental stewardship, recreation and food gathering.

Co-Leader David Haynes said “Conservation Boards, academics and recreation bodies have recognised for a number of years that there is a limit to how many people can experience our unique outdoor destinations beyond which that experience becomes compromised by overcrowding and destruction of the very environment that attracts. The predominant vista when walking the Tongariro Crossing, for example, is the backs of the multitude of those ahead of you.”

Although the report has identified the issue of unsustainable visitor pressure on our public conservation estate, solutions are thin on the ground.

The Outdoors Party is very concerned that New Zealand could be yet another “eco-destination”, like Machu Picchu, the Galapagos Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, whose decline in popularity is caused by too many tourists.

The Outdoors Party is calling for a Futures Commissioner, appointed by Parliament but independent of any political party, to look at this issue for the long-term, along with the wider capacity limits of our environment and infrastructure to support population and economic growth, whilst maintaining our ecological and cultural identity.

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