Attitudes towards tourism are highly dependent on where people live, a new study shows. - Photo: RNZ
New Zealanders remain mostly positive about international tourism in the country, despite concerns raised in the regions.
The findings of the Mood of the Nation survey were released this afternoon, which gauge the public's perceptions of international tourism.
The research is undertaken by Kantar TNS on behalf of Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Tourism New Zealand twice a year.
It found attitudes towards tourism were highly dependent on where respondents lived, with Queenstown and West Coast residents raising the most concerns.
Increased traffic congestion, more littering and a higher risk of road accidents were the top three concerns for New Zealanders.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said both areas had small population bases and catered for a lot of international visitors.
"Queenstown is a hugely popular destination for Kiwis and international visitors, who pour billions of dollars into the Queenstown economy. While locals do generally acknowledge the benefits of tourism, they also experience the pressures of growth," Mr Roberts said.
Work was being done to the address the issues, he said.
"The government and the industry is not sitting on its hands, there is a lot going on to address and recognise the public's concerns.
"Next week we'll see the government tourism strategy and an industry strategy released."
Both draft strategies were released for consultation last year with a strong emphasis on sustainable tourism and ensuring New Zealander's lives were enhanced by tourism.
"For our most popular destinations, the tourism industry must work closely with central and local government to improve visitor management. For less visited regions, more can be done to encourage regional dispersal," he said.
"While our industry has economic goals, we also want to share the benefits with our host communities, to contribute to protecting and enhancing our natural environment, and to continue to be a high-class destination of choice for international and domestic travellers."
More than 90 percent of respondents viewed international tourism as good for the country.