New Zealand is more into rugby union than soccer but its tourism minister scored a spectacular own goal this week when he said the Kiwi tourism industry is more interested in wealthy tourists than those on a budget.
Minister of Tourism Stuart Nash said ‘discerning tourists’ are the goal and not ‘shoestring’ travellers.
In a message obviously designed for a domestic industry audience but now being spread across the world, he added: “In terms of targeting our marketing spin, it is unashamedly going to be at these high-quality tourists.”
No open arms welcome for "low-quality" tourists then?
Nash was speaking at the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand annual conference.
New Zealand media reported that Nash said his vision was for New Zealand to be one of the top three aspirational destinations for the “world’s most discerning travellers".
So nothing snobby there. But...
”We are going to welcome backpackers ... [but] we are not going to target the people who put on Facebook how they can travel around our country on $10 a day eating two-minute noodles.”
While New Zealand is well known for luxury lodges like Kauri Cliffs (above), surely there is also a welcome mat for noodle eaters?