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News Article

New Zealand’s Biannual survey ‘Mood of the Nation’

43% of New Zealanders think “tourists put too much pressure on New Zealand”

The twice yearly survey of 1080 people provides insight into New Zealanders’ sentiment about international tourism. Tourism is worth $16.2 billion to New Zealand’s economy and has become New Zealand’s top export earner. The research conducted twice a year by Kantar TNS, for Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), provides insight into New Zealanders’ sentiment about international tourism.

Too many tourists?

The vast majority of New Zealanders agree that international tourism is good for New Zealand. However since December 2015, there has been an increase in survey respondents thinking ‘current number of visitors is too high’, from 13% of respondents to just over 1 in 4 (26%). Yet, still roughly half of New Zealanders interviewed agreed ‘that New Zealand attracts just the right number of international visitors’.

Tourist pressure

Of the respondents 43% of New Zealanders think that international tourism ‘puts too much pressure on New Zealand’. This this has been relatively stable since 2017, though the figures are expected to rise in the future, according to Kanatar TNS.

The survey determined that Queenstown is consistently seen as the area ‘most under pressure of tourism’. With top five negative effects for tourism:  pressure on infrastructure, increased traffic congestion, environmental damage, accommodation shortage and overcrowding, being reported by respondents.

Benefits of tourism

The survey revealed there is still ‘widespread agreement that international tourism is good for New Zealand’, however the proportion of New Zealanders who ‘strongly agree’ with this has dropped compared to a year ago.

Of the 1080 ‘over 18’s’ interviewed, 93% overwhelmingly agreed with the statement ‘I want international visitors to have an enjoyable New Zealand experience’. When asked to think about others, further 81% respondents agreed that ‘Kiwis take pride in making international visitors feel welcome here’.

“We are reliant on Kiwis backing tourism, having 93 percent on board is fantastic, but I want to see that hit 100 percent,” says Stephen England-Hall, Tourism Chief Executive.

“Government and industry teamwork has seen some great results this year like improvements to the camping system and increased education around visitor behaviour,” says Mr England-Hall. “Continued success relies on the sector and beyond working together to address the bigger, longer-term challenges like infrastructure. This is underway and I'm confident we can do this.”

The TNZ says the ‘Mood of the Nation’ research is used to help inform industry and government activity to support a positive tourism experience for visitors and host communities. 

Read more at the or access the ‘Mood of the Nation’ report at:


Article details

  • Author(s)
  • Jesslyn Thay
  • Date
  • 21 May 2019
  • Source
  • Tourism New Zealand
  • Subject(s)
  • Tourism