Value vs volume for international tourists to New Zealand

Study date: October 2020
Author: thinkstep-anz

Which scenario has the lower carbon footprint: a few tourists spending a lot, or many tourists spending a little? Is it the small group of luxury tourists who eat steak dinners, stay in high-end lodges, and fly around in helicopters? Or the much larger group of budget-conscious tourists who eat beans on toast, stay at the local backpackers, and catch the bus?

This was the central question of a recent report on sustainable tourism by Christin Schaller and Jeff Vickers of thinkstep-anz. The report was commissioned by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment as part of his broader work programme; Not 100% – but four steps closer to sustainable tourism. The answer to this question is important given that the New Zealand tourism industry has an opportunity to reinvent itself in the post COVID-19 world – a sentiment echoed by Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler in a recent interview with NZ Herald.

Tourism New Zealand has aimed for a ‘value over volume’ strategy in international tourism for the past 20 years, according to its former chief executive George Hickton in Tourism Ticker. But is this still a valid strategy post-pandemic?

To find out more, read an overview of results or download the entire report, click here.

Image credit: pixabay


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