Friday, Mar 24, 2023

New Zealand needs wealthy visitors not 'noodle-eating backpackers', says Ardern's tourism minister

New Zealand needs wealthy visitors not 'noodle-eating backpackers', says Ardern's tourism minister

The remarks have been condemned as out of touch and elitist

Jacinda Ardern’s tourism minister said the country should be targeting wealthy holidaymakers to New Zealand at the expense of “dried noodle” eating backpackers.

As the country’s beleaguered tourism industry reopens following one of the world’s longest Covid border closures, Stuart Nash explained what type of holidaymaker he wants to welcome into the country.

He said the country is seeking “high quality” foreign tourists who have big money to spend over those on a shoestring budget who won’t pump money into the economy.

Instead he preferred to see New Zealand as one of the top three aspirational destinations for the “world’s most discerning travellers”.

Addressing the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand in Nelson, Mr Nash said: “In terms of targeting our marketing spin it is unashamedly going to be at these high quality tourists.”

Views condemned as ‘elitist’

Backpackers might be welcome, he acknowledged, but his department is not actively targeting “the guys who jump in a campervan and make a Facebook video about how they can get around our country on $10 a day by eating dried noodles”.

“That’s not who we are targeting in this day and age of social media, we can be a lot more targeted in our advertising,” he explained later in an interview with

The tourism minister’s remarks have been condemned as out of touch, with at least one commentator labelling his views as elitist.

Another critic tweeted: “Poor, working class not welcome.”

It is not the first time Mr Nash has courted controversy.

Two years ago he made it clear that New Zealand was “unashamedly” interested in the super wealthy such as the tourist who “flies business class or premium economy, hires a helicopter, does a tour round Franz Josef (the country’s steepest glacier) and then eats at a high end restaurant”.

Tourism crucial for economic recovery

In reality lower income, long-term visitors to New Zealand, including backpackers and foreign students, often spend more than their rich counterparts because they have longer stints in the country. Many also make return trips.

Even cruise ship passengers, who represent 9 per cent of the country’s visitors, only account for 3 per cent of tourist spending, according to researchers.

As New Zealand emerges from about a year of self-imposed isolation owing to pandemic restrictions, the return of the country’s tourism industry will play a key economic role.

International borders were only fully opened at the beginning of this month, allowing free and unfettered entry to foreign travellers.

Tourism generates nearly 10 per cent of New Zealand’s gross national product and while Mr Nash’s comments might upset some, many of his fellow countrymen would prefer fewer visitors, if only to protect their ecologically sensitive environment.

Related Articles

Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
The US government has charged Chinese businessman Guo Wengui with leading a $1 billion fraud scheme that cheated thousands of followers out of their money.
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
"Will Fly Wherever International Law Allows": US Warns Russia After Drone Incident
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Drew Barrymore
China is calling out the US, UK, and Australia on their submarine pact, claiming they are going further down a dangerous road
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
Silicon Valley Bank: Struggles Threaten Tech Startup Ecosystem"
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
Kamala Harris: "The United States has formally determined that Russia has committed crimes against humanity."
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History
White House: No ETs over the United States
U.S. Jet Shoots Down Flying Object Over Canada
Nord Stream terror attack: David Sacks breaks down Sy Hersh's story
Being a Tiktoker might be expensive…
Miracle: El Salvador Search and Rescue teams, with the support of Turkish teams, rescued a woman and a child from the rubble 150 hours after the earthquake
SpaceX, the private space exploration company, made a significant breakthrough in their mission to reach space.
China's top tech firms, including Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu, NetEase, and, are developing their own versions of Open AI's AI-powered chatbot, ChatGPT
This shocking picture, showing how terrible is the results of the earthquake in Turkey
President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union Address , in order to help Americans that missed the 2022 speech, do not have internet, and suffer from short memory.
The desk of King Carlos Alberto of Sardinia has many secret compartments
Today's news from Britain - 9th February 2023
China has declined the US's request for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to speak with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe after the US Air Force shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, according to the Pentagon