AbstractPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to portray the future of tourism in New Zealand based upon a philosophy of sustainability and cultural identity as a response to the present 2025 Tourism Strategy.Design/methodology/approach – The research deployed a scenario planning methodology resulting in four portraits of the future.Findings – Environmental issues and global migration are the key issues that will shape the future of New Zealand tourism. In order to address these issues four scenarios were constructed. New Zealand Wonderland portrays a future based upon a grounded international reputation for environmentalism driven by good governance, climate change targets and ecotourism. Indiana Jones and the Search for Cultural Identity position a future driven by rapid growth and unregulated air travel resulting in environmental degradation. A Peaceful Mixture is a balance of socio-cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainability at the centre of a tourism product shaped upon Maori culture and economic prosperity. The final scenario, New Zealand in Depression, is the worst possible outcome for New Zealand’s tourism industry as the three dimensions of economy, community, and environment are not at equilibrium. New Zealand would be over-polluted with an uncontrolled number of migrants.Research limitations/implications – The research was a social construction of ten experts’ views on the future of sustainable tourism.Originality/value – New Zealand’s present approach to the future of tourism is shaped by the 2025 Tourism Framework (http://tourism2025.org.nz/). This is derived from a business perspective and a neoliberal political philosophy and it is void of the words ecotourism and sustainability. This paper argues that the present strategy will fail because of community disengagement that proposes a range of alternative directions based upon a political discourse of sustainability and shaped by environmental credentials and cultural identity.
Bibliographical noteReference text: Becken, S. (2010), “The implications of peak oil for travel and tourism”, presented at The Living
Landscapes of Oman: 4th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, Muscat,
Bergman, A., Karlsson, J. and Axelsson, J. (2010), “Truth claims and explanatory claims: an ontology
typology of future studies”, Futures, Vol. 42, pp. 857-65.
Blanke, J. and Chiesa, T. (2014), “The travel & tourism competitiveness report 201”, World Economic Forum,
available at: http://reports.weforum.org/travel-and-tourism-competitiveness-report-2013/#¼ (accessed 10
Bowen, D. and Clarke, J. (2009), Contemporary Tourist Behaviour: Yourself and Others as Tourists, CABI
Buckley, R. (2012), “Sustainable tourism: research and reality”, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 39 No. 2,
Chhabra, D., Healy, R. and Sills, E. (2003), “Staged authenticity and heritage tourism”, Annals of Tourism
Research, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 702-19
Clemons, E.K. and Schimmelbusch, H. (2007), “The environmental prisoners dilemma or we’re all in this
together: can i trust you to figure it out?”, available at: http://opim.wharton.upenn.edu/,clemons/blogs/
prisonersblog.pdf (accessed 15 July).
Connell, J., Page, S. and Bentley, S. (2009), “Towards sustainable tourism planning in New Zealand:
monitoring local government planning under the resource management act”, Tourism Management, Vol. 30
No. 6, pp. 867-77.
Heijden, K.v.d, Bradfield, R., Burt, G., Cairns, G. and Wright, G. (2002), Sixth Sense: Accelerating
Organisation Learning with Scenarios, Wiley, Chichester.
Howe, C. (2012), “Beyond Rio? Paradise Lost”, Report for the World Wildlife Fund, Wellington, available at:
(accessed 1 December 2012).
Liu, Z. (2003), “Sustainable tourism development: a critique”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 11 No. 6,
McClure, M. (2004), The Wonder Country: Making New Zealand Tourism, Auckland University Press, Auckland.
McCool, S.F. and Moisey, R.N. (2008), Tourism, Recreation and Sustainability: Linking Culture and the
Environment, CAB International, Wallingford.
McGuiness, W. (2011), “Project 2058”, available at: http://mcguinnessinstitute.org/Site/Publications/
Project_Reports.aspx (accessed 10 November 2014).
Ministry for the Environment (2011), “Economic modelling of New Zealand climate change policy: report to
Ministry for the Environment”, available at: www.climatechange.govt.nz/emissions-trading-scheme/
building/reports/index.html (accessed 2 October 2014).
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (2014), “Tourism statistics”, available at:
www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/Tourism.aspx (accessed 12 November 2014).
Moriarty, J. (2012a), “Tourism2050: planning for the future”, Victoria University of Wellington, available at:
www.tourism2050.com (accessed 25 November 2014).
Moriarty, J. (2012b), “Theorising scenario analysis to improve future perspective planning in tourism”,
Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 20 No. 6, pp. 779-800.
Page, S.J. and Thorn, K.J. (1997), “Towards sustainable tourism planning in New Zealand: public sector
planning responses”, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 59-77.
Reisinger, Y. and Steiner, C.J. (2006), “Reconceptualizing object authenticity”, Annals of Tourism Research,
Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 65-86.
Robertson, M. and Yeoman, I. (2014), “Signals and signposts of the future: literary festival consumption in
2050”, Tourism Recreation Research, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 321-42.
Saarinen, J. (2006), “Traditions of sustainability in tourism studies”, Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 33
No. 4, pp. 1121-40.
Sparrow, J. (1994), Knowledge in Organisations, Sage, London.
Statistics New Zealand (2007), “National Ethnic Population Projections 2006 (Base) – 2026 Update”,
available at: www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/population/estimates_and_projections/National
EthnicPopulationProjections_HOTP2006-26/Tables.aspx\ (accessed 10 November 2013).
Wallace, S. and Riley, S. (2014), “Tourism 2025: an industry perspective”, Journal of Tourism Futures, Vol. 1
No. 1, pp. 56-60.
Yeoman, I. (2012), 2050: Tomorrow’s Tourism, Channelview, Bristol.
Yeoman, I. (2015), “The state of China”, Journal of Tourism Futures, Vol. 2 No. 2, (forthcoming).
Yeoman, I., McMahon-Beattie, M. and Palomini-Schalscha, M. (2014), “Keeping it pure: could New Zealand
be an Eco Paradise?”, Journal of Tourism Futures, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 20-36.
Yeoman, I., Robertson, M. and Smith, K. (2011), “A futurist’s view on the future of events”, available at:
www.tomorrowstourist.com/pdf/thefuturistsviewonthefutureofevents.pdf (accessed 10 November 2014).
Young, G. (1973), Tourism – Blessing or Blight? Penguin, London.
- Scenario planning