This paper focuses on the article “Our Great Walks - is it time to pay?” that has been extracted from an article presented in the Otago Daily Times. The main focus of this article is on the trampers in the Great Walks of New Zealand who are responsible for certain environmental impact. The article argues that the major tramps have ‘exploded’ and the visitors must be charged a certain amount for it. Currently, there is no permit or charges applicable for access to the Great Walk. Tramping is considered a mode of alterative tourism as the travellers are more involved in the life of region visited. As every activity in the nature causes certain environmental impact, the Department of Conservation may be correct to start charging the use of Great Walks in New Zealand (The New Zealand Herald 2017).
Tramping is increasing in popularity as the people in New Zealand as well as foreign tourists enjoy outdoor recreation. According to the article by The New Zealand Herald (2016), the director-general of Department of Conservation, Lou Sanson states that they may start charging for New Zealand’s great Walks. It is suggested that an amount of $100 and $40 could be paid by the foreign tourists and New Zealanders respectively (The New Zealand Herald 2017). The notion behind it is the increase in trampers- especially foreigners have effect on the environment. Further, Sanson states that the Great Walks brand has ‘exploded’ with popularity and has created problems for the environment at the same time.
The author further presents findings of a report that was prepared 18 months ago stating that the previous figure of 30% international visitors that come to New Zealand to connect with nature has now increased to 50% (The New Zealand Herald 2017). The author brings out the concern to protect the natural environment in New Zealand that is the differentiating factor for them. Further, the past president of Federated Mountain Clubs of New Zealand Robin McNeill states that it would be a good idea to fund the department. He presents certain examples to prove the suggestion of charging the trampers. For example, in Europe the people pay under $100 to live in huts while tramping. In the US, sometimes the people have to pay an amount to get into a national park. To add emphasis on levying charges, the author presents numerical findings of the population increase in certain regions such as Routeburn Track, Kepler Track, Te Araroa trail, Milford and others. The inclusion of suitable statistics and facts make the data more appealing. The Chairman of NZ Conservation states that the nation is experiencing costs of waste removal, infrastructure, cleaning campgrounds and others for which costs need to be paid by the visitors.
Tramping is a popular activity in New Zealand that involves walking over rough country. The New Zealand Great Walks are popular across the world and a wide number of tourists visit for tramping. In terms of contribution to the news article field, the article adds to the information of the readers regarding the routes in New Zealand. A well written article to encourage the support of environment helps in carrying out initiatives by the people. The methods used by the author to get the readers intention is extremely important to assess how article is perceived. The numerical figures and statistics used by the author bring about the importance of increasing number of international tourists in New Zealand for tramping. The statistics used such as, “A report prepared 18 months ago said 30 per cent of international visitors came to New Zealand to connect with nature. That figure was now 50 per cent” give the audience ability to understand the increasing number of tourists and that the environment of New Zealand shall be hampered. The actual figures help the audience to make a comparison on how the scenario has changed. Further, the statistical examples such as “On the Routeburn Track numbers were increasing by 10 per cent annually, with 70 per cent of the users coming from overseas” and “Sanson said in February that 600,000 visitors were expected at Milford this year” contributes as a comparative analysis for different regions for tramping in New Zealand.
To help counterbalance the previous approach as stated above, the article also contains views and opinions of the members of Department of Conservation. The DOC is the public service department of New Zealand responsible for the conservation of nature in New Zealand. They use the emotional connections such as “Every time we stopped we were surrounded by 40 people. That is not my New Zealand. We have got to work this stuff out — these are the real challenges” to show how deeply DOC is concerned regarding the stress in New Zealand’s natural environment. Also, the article uses the visually attractive pictures to appeal the readers. The article specifies the need to have a debate regarding charges for beds, huts, departure and other charges that portrays that the management is putting deep thoughts into it. Also, the charges that the management is planning to levy shall be deeply put into consideration by the environmental board.
Despite the well applied approaches and methods above, the article majorly set the scene on the ‘increasing popularity and number of tourists’ for tramping rather than discussing the detailed description of the environmental impacts caused by it. The greatest flaw in the article is that the name of the author(s) is not specified. The title of the article, “Our Great Walks - is it time to pay?” only specifies the need by the DOC to make the visitors pay. It does not specify the environmental impacts in details that are currently caused by tramping in New Zealand’s Great Walks. The author fails to mention the data and figures for the impact on flora, fauna and other environmental impacts. The cost of maintaining all the tracks in the Great Walks are not specified by the author.
The traveller’s experiences could also be shared regarding the conservative steps currently taken by them to save the environment. A detailed view of the travellers regarding the DOC’s view of charging the trampers could be presented. The main intent of this article is to manage the ‘exploded’ population affecting the natural environment. The numerical figures and statistics can be presented on the budget for opening huts or maintaining staff to maintain and conserve the environment. The author could also improve the overall organization and structure of the article by providing direct quotes relating to the natural environment conservation. Reviewing the other articles on The Otago Daily Times and Stuff.co.nz it was observed that these provided with a focus on the trampers’ group fight plans for charging tourists to use Great Walks.
Conclusively, the article discussed the need for levying charges as the population in New Zealand has ‘exploded’. The author could have used better emotional approach and persuade the readers to develop a perspective where the trampers do not hesitate to pay the charges. The New Zealand tourism industry needs to take measures and educate the trampers regarding environment conservation practices. The inclusion of suitable statistics and facts make the data more appealing. As every activity in the nature causes certain environmental impact, the Department of Conservation may be correct to start charging the use of Great Walks in New Zealand. However, there is a need to enhance the article by describing the environmental impacts caused by trampers on the environment and the ways it can be mitigated.
The New Zealand Herald, 2017. Our Great Walks - is it time to pay? - National - NZ Herald News. [online] The New Zealand Herald. Available at: <https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11737304> [Accessed 20 Mar. 2017].