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Anti-tourist prejudice rejected

David Carter National Tourism Spokesperson

21 March 2001

Anti-tourist prejudice rejected

The call from Fish and Game New Zealand to charge tourists higher prices to fish is naive and completely underestimates the value of tourism to our economy, National's Tourism spokesperson David Carter said today.

Fish and Game's Director, Bryce Johnson, has recommended that overseas visitors be subject to higher charges to fish in backcountry waters in an effort to prevent local anglers from having to queue behind tourists.

"Most places in the world realise the value of tourism and do all they can to attract tourists, not repel them. To date, New Zealand has been no exception.

"Policies such as the one Mr Johnson advocates only risk portraying New Zealand as a country that does not value overseas visitors and instead sees them merely as a cash cow to extract money from.

"What next? Charging tourists to lie on our beaches when they get crowded? Separate prices on menus in popular restaurants and cafes - one for locals and one for tourists?!

"Given that tourism is New Zealand's biggest foreign exchange earner and consistently boasts increasing visitor numbers, the sort of attitude displayed by Fish and Game is potentially very damaging," David Carter said.

Ends

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