Last month, there was a group of American tourists consisting of 53 elderly passengers that were caught up in a delayed flight from Auckland going back to the United Stated. They end up staying at a meeting house with traditional Maori set up because all of the hotels located in the city are already fully booked.
The tourists were entertained by an elder who provided them with biscuits along with cups of tea before showing them to their sleeping quarter which is a hall as big as a tennis court. It has wood carvings inspired by Maori and on the floor are mattresses where they will be sleeping.
According o the treasurer of the Te Puea Marae which is the Maori community center, Jenny Nuku, they were sharing a joke with the tourists that the set up will make them feel like they are back in a holiday camp, much like an American style. All of the elderly are laughing at the thought of it.
This particular incident might be a chance for the tourists to experience the culture of the country but it is also an eye-opening situation that highlights the fact that the infrastructure of the nation is not able to meet the current increase in tourism in New Zealand. Last year, there were 3.5 million travelers who came to the country and the number is 480,000 more than the expected amount of visitors. The fact that there are not enough infrastructures to accommodate the growing number of tourists might affect the highest earning industry in the country which is tourism.
This is further proven by the congestion seen in tours that consist of scenic walks among the alpine valleys and volcanic plateaus. Small towns offering adventure activities find that their sewerage system is swamped because of too much usage.
According to the leading operator of adventure tourism in the country, Quinton Hall, the growth of the tourism industry in New Zealand might be put to a limit of these problems are not fixed soon and no long term solutions are provided. Unlike in Bangkok, Thailand where there is an abundance of accommodations such as business hotel in Silom.