If we are to continue growing the NZ visitor market the industry must adopt a proactive rather than a reactive mind set.
Once again we find ourselves in a reactive situation around visitor driving skills and the resulting tragic accidents.
The issues today could have been anticipated 10-20 years ago and we could have had a strategy in place to address it but unfortunately once again we are in a reactive mode.
Let’s look back .Twenty years ago the majority of visitors from our current growth markets travel this country on bus tours.
Very few spoke English, very few owned or could drive a car and most were inexperienced travels.
This has all changed. These people now have their own cars, more can now speak at least some English and an increasing number are travelling the world in many cases via self drive.
One of the reasons we are in a reactive mode around this increasing number of self drive visitors and their ability to handle driving in this country from these markets especially China is we still don’t understand the market, the language, the culture, how they drive in their own country and why they have difficulty adapting to our driving style and conditions.
If we had taken the time to do this we could have anticipated the need to address visitor driving abilities long before the issue became the problem it now is and will continue to be for the next ten years.