As the Director of Welcome Tours, I see myself as being on a journey of discovery along with my Kiwi and international guests. I admit though to some identity confusion. Tourist? Visitor? Local? Who am I when I explore Aotearoa/New Zealand?
Even though Kiwis on holiday here are counted as tourists, most of us are a bit funny about being called a tourist in our homeland. It infers that we don't belong, that we don't understand how things are done around here, that we’re not ‘one of the locals’...
Maybe it depends on perspective. Perhaps in a global village it really doesn't matter.
If I was on the affirmative in a debating team, I could happily argue that being considered a tourist is a good thing. That tourist label gives us a license to see things from a fresh perspective. We don’t have to pretend we know everything. We are seen as inviting new sights and experiences.
So given that we Kiwis definitely don’t want to miss out on all of the things there are to see and discover in this amazing land, how about we create a new local tourist identity? Something that we claim with pride...
Lourist' definitely sounds inappropriate! How about 'toural'? Perhaps not...
Sue is the Director and Chief Explorer at Welcome Tours. Sue blogs about new discoveries and the things that matter to Welcome Tours.