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Building a connected NZ camping and tourism industry

Gary Stoneley, Lifestyle Camping

To ensure that NZ has a sustainable recreational camping industry for the next decade and beyond it is imperative that related interest groups are more engaged and appreciative of the issues each group faces. Recently I had the opportunity to attend the BYATA (Backpacker, Youth and Adventure Tourism) conference in Christchurch.


Connecting with others from across the tourism industry in a motivating, energised setting was like a breath of fresh air, recharging and invigorating me to continue to support our industry.

Sited at the impressive Te Pae conference centre in central Christchurch it provided an opportunity to check out the vibrant city centre. With a wide range of industry speakers perhaps the most inspiring was from ChristchurchNZ.com.


Rebranding Christchurch for the future as a playground (fun) destination for work, living and visiting exemplifies how life should be, and no doubt NZ’s camping community can relate to this.

Concern was expressed by attendees and speakers on the significant harm caused by ex-Tourism Minister Stuart Nash’s offensive comments targeting budget travellers and campers and the heavy-handed freedom camping legislation pushed onto the industry.


Other issues discussed were the reduced support for domestic tourism, migrant issues, the shortage of workers, affordable accomodation, and suitable rental vehicles; as well as increased financial costs and operator responsibilities.


There is an underlying energy and enthusiasm across the wider traveller / camper supporting industry. There are issues but a lot of positivity across the industry. Roll on Summer 2023 / 2024.

There is underlying energy and enthusiasm

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