It’s time we applauded our travellers

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PARTING SHOT: Travellers want to experience the best of a destination, from its scenery to its hospitality.

So after living in Queenstown for a meagre 10 months I am discontent and discouraged at the intolerance - of a few - towards transient workers and tourists.

I tip-toe the line between transient and local and haven’t been here long enough to understand all the nuances of the town. But I am plugged into the business community.

There appears to be a locals’ mentality. Before I join it seems I must pay absurd rental prices for at least six months in the coldest part of town. Then I’ve got to shout and raise my fist at all driving in Shotover Street during peak hour.

And I must not forget to kick off if I have to pay more for facilities that are shared by tourists. Oh and I should know the name of that business set up in Queenstown when I was just starting kindy across the ditch.

It’s this narrow-minded, short-sighted attitude that is giving Queenstown a bad name.

I am not the only transient worker involved in the business community. Many such transients were lawyers, doctors, physios, entrepreneurs, before they chose to live here.

Queenstown is an amazing place full of adventure, opportunity and a leisurely lifestyle.

Would you put up with minimum wage to live somewhere this beautiful? Many do.

The positive impact on the community should be enough to tolerate travellers.

But it seems not and to me there’s not enough camaraderie between locals and visitors.

These are the transient workers who front your businesses and greet the tourists holidaying in Queenstown to ensure their experience is the best in Queenstown.

Unfortunately this attitude is shown against certain tourists who obey our road rules.

A few dangerous rental car drivers don’t reflect the whole.

The vigilante mentality of key-stealing is disgusting - justice should be left to the police.

It is naive to expect travellers from such diverse backgrounds to understand our cultural mechanisms and adhere to local norms.

The perception that those from elsewhere should behave in a similar manner to our cultural ‘road rules’ just doesn’t make sense.

Our normality may seem chaotic to them.

Cashing in on the markets currently visiting Queenstown is appealing.

International and Kiwi-born business owners such as Whangarei-born Sir Michael Hill and Japan’s Eiichi Ishii saw the value in Queenstown and were recently offered the keys to Arrowtown for their contributions.

Irish-born Eamon Cleary understood the potential and invested in properties in Arrowtown and Queenstown as well as Coronet Peak.

These international business owners help drive awareness of Queenstown beyond our waters and they have brought their ambition and drive to assist growth in the economy.

When Queenstown’s economy thrives it’s with the help of travellers - millionaires and penny pinchers.

From an economic point of view, the resentment towards outsiders doesn’t make sense.

To quote the Bible: Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for some have entertained angels without
knowing it.

clare@scene.co.nz