Comment of the Day: Are we heading for 0% New Zealand?

The opening ceremony of a giant rugby ball for Tourism New Zealand in front of the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, Friday, October 05, 2007. Credit:NZPA / Ross Setford

Sally writes:

South Islanders you are overrun by tourists.

After a few days down there doing all the tourist things I felt like a foreign tourist in my own country.

Really good for the economy but sometimes I wished that there were more NZers employed in the hospitality and tourism trade.

To be asked where do you come from by an American at the reception of a hotel, served by a Chinese girl at a hotel restaurant, or go on a scenic tour with a guide and hardly understand due to their very broad Irish accent, I started to wonder: where are the NZers and why are they not doing these jobs?

If tourism is going to become our biggest earner we need to push training more NZers in the hospitality industry.

These people are the face of NZ so my challenge to NZ businesses in the tourism business start finding ways on how to attract more NZers to help run your business than taking the easier route of employing seasonal foreign workers.

Are we just selling our scenery so tourists feel more comfortable when being shown around by people they identify with?

Is this an opportunity for nice operators to ensure their tourism attraction is 100% authentic?