“100% pure New Zealand”
That’s the longest running national tourism slogan, according to research by the author of the Banyan column in the widely circulated The Economist magazine based out of Great Britain.
These days, the slogan has even more meaning as tourism dollars supplanted dairy as the nation’s largest export. Dominic Ziegler, author of the Banyan column, points out that New Zealand’s tourism traffic has jumped from 2.7 to 3.6 million visitors annually during a five-year window. That’s a lot of tourists considering that New Zealand has only 4.7 million citizens.
Ziegler goes on to estimate that tourism brings $14.5 billion to the country or $3,000 for every citizen. With that additional tourism revenue, tourism has moved past dairy for New Zealand’s largest export earner, Ziegler reported in his article, “A clean and pleasant land.”
More people, more issues
Presenting that “100% pure New Zealand” image is getting a bit more difficult. For starters, with the sheer number of visitors, New Zealand’s countryside has been getting “hammered,” wrote Ziegler. The second issue “comes from the back end of the cow.”
“In one way, New Zealand’s pristine image has also boosted the dairy industry,” wrote Ziegler. “Many Chinese consumers, in particular, choose Kiwi infant formula over domestic brands, which they fear will be contaminated.” And these days Chinese tourists have doubled to 400,000 annually compared to just five years earlier . . . when tying the topics of dairy and tourism back together.
However, dairy’s growth has caused environmental concerns among its citizens to skyrocket.
“One objection is fragile landscapes ravaged to make way for cows . . .” wrote Ziegler. “Indeed, water gets to the heart of New Zealanders’ concerns. Dairy cattle need a lot of it and produce copious excrement and urine in return.”
It’s clear that the New Zealand dairy and tourism industries will need to find ways to co-exist. To learn more, read “A clean and pleasant land.”