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Tourists must be treated like special guests

29 November 2010        Media Statement        

Tourists must be treated like special guests   

Two incidents involving tourists over the weekend highlight the fact that New Zealand tourism still has some way to go to fully live up to its core value of manaakitanga (hospitality), says Labour’s Tourism spokesperson Kelvin Davis.

“News that a Canadian tourist had all her belongings stolen after being in the country less than two hours, and that visitors from Vanuatu had to sleep in the Wellington Airport Terminal after their plane was diverted because of a light failure on the Auckland Airport runway, goes to show that caring for our visitors is far from an embedded instinct,” Kelvin Davis said.

Renewing his call for an advertising/education campaign to inform New Zealanders about the value of tourism to our economy and the need to care for tourists as we would guests in our own homes, Kelvin Davis said: “The situation at Wellington Airport should never have happened.

“It is unacceptable that visitors to our country should spend their first night in New Zealand sleeping in an airport terminal.

“Alternative arrangements should have been made for them,” Kelvin David said. “It’s a bit like having someone to stay at home, but making them sleep on the front door step.

“As a nation we need to learn what the true value of manaakitanga really means.”


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