While numerous New Zealand tourist destinations struggle to keep pace with the declining number of tourists, Stewart Island is jam-packed with visitors.
According to a report, staffing shortages and the gradual increase in visitor numbers put numerous island residents working extra hard.
Stewart Island Community Board Chairman Jon Spraggon said it was amazing to witness the surge of tourists visiting the island. However, the shortage of permanent staff on the island meant that residents were working extremely long hours to host guests.
“If we keep going at this rate, there will be burnout,” Spraggon said.
He believed that the island’s population had risen from its usual number of 400 up to close to 1000.
The market for seasonal work was typically populated by backpackers. However, the closing of borders in the country has changed the demographics.
It attempted to reach North Islanders to attract staff to the tiny island during the summer months, but with no results.
Spraggon was unaware of any further visitor accommodations available at the island’s typical locations.
The entire island’s industry is growing.
He claimed that additional flights were created to satisfy the demand, charter vessels were flat out, and the Foveaux Strait ferry was highly booked.
The region is typically home to many tourists from abroad, but these days, most visitors come from the North Island.
Kai Kart Owner Sue Conner said she had invited her teenagers to help out during the bustling times of her popular fish and chips caravan.
The domestic tourism industry has kept the region in motion.
Spraggon stated that the Department of Conservation tracks were in good use as the need for huts was not affected by reports of them suffering from an infestation of bed bugs.
The bustling island was thriving and had developed an enthralling buzz.
Meanwhile, the annually conducted Great South visitor survey had provided invaluable feedback on how the region’s performance was.
There were mostly positive comments on the forms. The low quality of a section on one of the walking tracks was the common constructive criticism shared.
Spraggon saw the feedback as an opportunity to correct something rather than a criticism.