Popular tourist hotspot fed up being your favourite holiday destination

Too many tourists in New Zealand

Whether you want to visit lakes and mountains or channel your inner Hobbit and frolic through Hobbitown, New Zealand has it all.

But for some of the locals, that can be quite a problem. In 2015 alone, more than 3.5 million people visited New Zealand and with a population of just under 4.5 million, some feel things are getting a tad overcrowded.

According to a recent survey conducted by Tourism New Zealand, just under a quarter of New Zealanders are concerned that the country is focusing too much on growth and that there are too many tourists.

The main concerns include the impact this has on road accidents, congestion, and overcrowded local landmarks, campsites and other points of interest. There’s also concern about the environmental impacts of tourism on the country.

“Tourism and travel, as global industries, have a profound impact on the environment and cultures of the world. Fragile natural resources like forests can be damaged or depleted by too many visitors or irresponsible use,” says the New Zealand Tourism Guide. “Animal habitats can be devastated by visitors and eco systems altered forever.”

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Some locals have taken to social media to comment on the growing crowds and to advise other tourists on the best time to visit for quiet encounters, especially for hikers.

“The worst times to come over are during December-January and July-August, due to Christmas holidays and during July-August a lot of international students come over from China/Japan etc. And they do a lot of travelling around,” said one local.

With the increase in tourism comes the worry that there isn’t enough infrastructure to support the continual growth.

“As a nation, we are limited in the peak season by capacity in such areas as our roads, port facilities, accommodation, water and sewerage, and public amenities,” said Tourism Industry Association chief executive Chris Roberts.

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“It is clear that investment in many areas of tourism infrastructure is lagging behind demand, so we need to speed up our planning, decision-making and investment cycles.”

But that could be solved by proposed fees and taxes that could be introduced on things like national park entry, car parking, hiking fees and more. To date, no decision has been made about whether tourisms taxes will be introduced.

What do you think? Will New Zealand be able to cope with the tourism growth? Let us know in the comments section below.

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