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Supreme Tourism Award To Casino Inappropriate

Supreme Tourism Award To Casino Totally Inappropriate

Green Party Tourism Spokesperson Rod Donald today said the decision to award Sky City Casino New Zealand's supreme tourism award was extremely disappointing and inappropriate and highlighted the need to change the criteria on which this award was based.

"It is totally inappropriate that this award has gone to a casino - the likes of which can be found the world over - when New Zealand has so many very successful, uniquely New Zealand operations in areas like nature, adventure, heritage and cultural tourism enterprises.

Mr Donald said he couldn't believe that a huge business that encourages people to gamble, contributes to the break-up of families and makes no contribution to community wellbeing had taken out a prestigious award when so many other tourist operators were contributing so much more.

"Celebrating a casino over the tourism experiences which really mark New Zealand on the international tourism map is so at odds with the '100 per cent pure' promotion," said Mr Donald.

"The harsh reality is that casinos make a great deal of money out of people's addictions. They are as far from 100 per cent pure as you can get. There is nothing either unique or desirable about a casino," he said.

"There is no place for casinos in the Green Party's vision for a socially and environmentally sustainable tourism industry in this country," he said.

Mr Donald said the Tourism Industry Association needed to reassess the criteria on which this award was decided to prevent something like this happening again.

Mr Donald said his views on the inappropriateness of the award were shared by many other guests at the ceremony.

"Unlike in past years, when the award was announced, there was certainly no standing ovation for the recipient, Sky City."

Ends


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