Tourism has been Aotearoa’s largest export industry in terms of foreign exchange earnings, and we have a clean, green, safe, friendly reputation. We’ve been something of a victim of our own success and mass tourism has created overcrowding in popular scenic destinations like Queenstown. With a focus on the international market, pricing has also pushed locals out of the market with tourism workers (around 8% of the NZ workforce) often forced to commute from cheaper accommodation further afield.
Kinloch is an hour’s drive from Queenstown and a lifetime away, nestled on the other end of Lake Wakitipu. It’s surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and is a popular destination for keen trampers. Situated at the starting point of many of our Great Walks including the Routeburn, Caples and Greenstone tracks, Kinloch certainly offers plenty of scope to connect with nature, relax, and unwind. Paradise Rd is aptly named, plus you get the bonus of travelling over the slightly famous One Lane Bridge saddling the Dart River.
Some say we’ve been lucky to escape a pandemic-style situation until now, and it’s likely we’ll see future outbreaks. There is no doubt that New Zealand will continue to feature highly on top destinations to visit, and he sees opportunities for locations in New Zealand to specialise in sustainable tourism and quality offerings – away from “seeing” a beautiful location, to “experiencing and learning” for a more extended time in locations set up to deliver a quality experience. Kinloch is well-positioned for Professor Albert Postma‘s “responsible tourism” quadrant in a post-COVID world. Toni and I joined a tourism webinar that discussed tourism scenarios out to 2025:
According to this framework, here in Aotearoa we’re in “business as unusual” transition with tourism restricted over the longer term. We’re seeing some “survival of the fittest” scenarios with a race to the bottom on pricing (Toni is keen to avoid that) and a shift to travel as a luxury product. Ideally we’ll move from this “business as unusual” transition to “responsible tourism” and true transformation, with investment in quality, local concepts.
Get out around Aotearoa
Work remotely or do a digital detox, go for day walks around the mountain tracks and connect with nature, eat delicious fresh local food. Drive your EV. Do your own version of a wellness retreat, or keep an eye out for Toni’s upcoming retreat options. Explore our beautiful country…before those borders reopen, and everybody else does.