Reproduced from an article
by Alan Jolliffe
From The New Zealand
Garden Journal (Journal of the Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture),
Vol. 2, No. 2, June 1997, pp. 15-21.
This article provides
information on basic tourism concepts for an audience not traditionally
exposed to tourism. It aims to show the interrelationships between
tourism, tourists and horticulture and gardening. It also examines
briefly the media coverage of horticulture, horticultural features,
and horticultural events to show the direct relationship between
tourism and horticulture.
Key words: Horticulture,
There has been an upsurge
in the interest of people and businesses trying to cash in on the
tourism boom in New Zealand. Of interest in this article is the
relationship between horticulture and gardening and tourism.
Tourism is a major growth
industry in New Zealand and indeed the world. With New Zealand tourism
growth rates expected of up to 10% per annum many people are promoting
tourism as one of the saviours of the New Zealand economy in the
In this article Tourism
is defined in the broad context, and tourism activities related
to horticulture are discussed. The extent of interrelationships
between horticulture and tourism is shown through a snapshot investigation
of various media. Finally a short discussion on the impacts of tourism
Truth about Tourism Figures (NZ$)
||Year 2000 Estimate
||$ 10.0 billion
|Less Air Transportation
|Nett Ground Expenditure
There are a number of
definitions of tourism. Murphy (1982) defined Tourism as "... the
temporary movement of people to destinations outside their normal
places of work and residence, the activities undertaken during their
stay in those destinations, and the facilities created to cater
for their needs."
The four factors identified
in tourism which affects profitability of businesses and regional
development are (Jolliffe 1993):
- visitor numbers
- length of stay
- level of expenditure
- repeat and referral
When examining figures
like this we have to know how they are made up. Gross figures are
fine but a large area of expenditure like air travel can make a
big difference to the picture painted by those wishing to enhance
the value of tourism to the economy.
Ground figures are also
general because they comprise two main components of each:
- Business Travel
- Pleasure Travel
Business travel has a
different set of expenditure patterns to pleasure travel.
Pleasure travel can be
subdivided into the following distinct groups:
In general we are told of
a rapid increase in numbers. What businesses need to know is which
group is growing to determine the marketing mix of a business.
Free independent traveller people who hire camper vans,
cars, bicycles etc and make up their own itinerary as they travel
around. This is a growing market.
- SIT: Semi
independent traveller people who have a partly organised
itinerary but can fit in a range of other activities of their
- Package Tours:
Fully inclusive trips where groups fly in, get on a coach
and are taken around New Zealand and only visit predetermined
locations. This type of traveller is predicted to decline or at
least stay level in the future.
Length of Stay
Length of stay is defined in this article as the time period visitors
stay in New Zealand, a region or in accommodation or an attraction.
Historically the average
length of stay in New Zealand was about 27 days. Currently the average
length of stay is about 19 days. A significant drop.
In the future there is
predicted to be a world wide trend towards short break holidays.
It is expected that this the length of stay will fall even further.
Regionally one can measure
tourism in length of stay because it has high economic impact. Auckland's
length of stay is up to 6 days with Wellington at 2 days (NZTB).
There are a range
of measures looked at in determining expenditure.
NZTB (New Zealand Tourism
Board) has a policy to attract medium to high income earners to
visit New Zealand to increase these expenditure patterns.
Repeat and Referal
This is vital to
all business and services. Organisations totally focused on the
customer will have no problem obtaining repeat business. Service,
customer focus, activities, programmes and social interaction all
have a major part in repeat business
It is the mix of
these four factors which will increase profitability of regions
and individual businesses.
Over the years there
have been a variety of surveys undertaken to determine what activities
visitors undertake. In the 1984 International Visitor Survey the
main attractions visited were:
Top 7 Activities
- Historic Homes
- Forest Parks
- City Parks
- Scenic Drives
- Cable Car (entrance
to Wellington Botanic Garden)
The 1993 International Visitor Survey which is in a different format
to the 1984 version provides the following information.
survey 9% (90,000) of people visited gardens. Notice though the
activities which could have some horticultural/conservation content.
activities undertaken by international visitors
boat cruise (views)
Again note those
attractions that have a horticultural/conservation content
One of the prime reasons we are attracting people to New Zealand is
the 'Clean Green' image portrayed to the world. Every piece of New
Zealand seen by visitors is judged by the imagery sent overseas.
The Tourism Product
From the definition alone
we can deduce that it is the total experience that is vital to the
success of tourism in New Zealand. If everything that is seen and
experienced is important, much of that seen in the urban and rural
landscape is related to horticulture in its broadest sense.
product is composite in nature and includes everything that the
tourist purchases, sees, experiences and feels from the time they
leave home until they return. (Collier 1991)
Turning now to the relationship
of tourism to horticulture we need to consider the three areas of
Inbound is people coming into New Zealand many arriving to
experience the 'clean and green' that is promoted overseas. This image
should be enhanced.
9% of international visitors visit gardens in New Zealand and that
is increasing. Currently there are various package tours of New Zealand
which have a horticultural aspect to them including:
Tours (gardens, flora etc)
Tours (Historical Homes and Gardens)
Event Tours (Roses etc)
New Zealand should be
taking advantage of this interest and bring the native and introduced
flora to the visitor through a different style of horticulture.
Can New Zealand gardeners take an idea from Kelly Tarltons and provide
a wide range of flora in attractive environments?
To further illustrate the
relationship between tourism and horticulture consider some aspects
of outbound tourism. There are two examples
pick up any magazine and you will find an advertisement
by a travel agent taking a special interest in garden tours to England,
Europe, Japan, California, Australia etc. New Zealander's are great
travellers with a love of gardening. These tours, often led by personalities
(Maggie Barry, Eion Scarrow etc), are very popular.
Wild Flower Tours:
wildflower tours to South Africa, Nepal or Western Australia
are regularly advertised.
One of the long forgotten elements in the whole tourism promotion
is Domestic Tourism, "Kiwis on holiday in Kiwiland". They can be
divided into two markets: Day Trippers, and long stay (1 night or
people leaving home for less than 24 hours. A market that
is being exploited more and more in New Zealand. In horticultural
terms there are many opportunities to capture this market including
Absolutely gone mad in NZ. In the spring of 1994 in Wellington
up to 4 different groups organised open gardens for various reasons
mainly community fund raising.
Some small towns like
Marton use Open Gardens as a major draw card for visitors to the
town. The whole community benefits through the increased expenditure.
Increases in petrol sales, food sales, product sales, nursery sales
and the like are made.
Many special events are
run for this particular market. The significance of it has been recognised
in such things as Garden Festivals, Ellerslie Flower Show, Garden
Tours, Wine events, even the Alexandra Blossom Festival.
Longer stay tourists:
These are people who stay away from home more than 24 hours,
i.e., overnight. This group is broken down into three groups: Business
Travellers, Pleasure Travellers and Visiting Friends and Relatives.
may or may not visit a horticultural attraction but be sure they
will notice horticultural features in a city or region. Business
travellers enjoy going to well maintained areas.
Pleasure Travellers particularly FIT (free independent travellers),
take advantage of the opportunity to visit many areas of the country
including parks, gardens (private and public etc.)
Visiting Friends and Relatives to capture this part of the
market the local population needs to have a high awareness of horticultural
attractions within the local area.
A recent survey by Wellington City Council showed that:
98% of residents knew of the facilities it provided
84% used parks and gardens
The Botanic Garden was
at the top of the list
One could extrapolate
from this that domestic visitors may also like to visit such attractions
when in another location.
(1993) suggested it was public parks and recreation facilities that
attracted tourists to an area. Gardens vary in their type in different
areas and are attractions in their own right.
Concentrate on high quality displays including colour and
form, geographical collections, plant trials, specialist collections
and many more. A great deal of work is put into interpretation work
such as signs and various educational programmes.
These are a major drawcard
for both domestic and international visitors.
In the results of a survey in Christchurch Botanic Gardens (Jolliffe,
1976) where a question asked "What is the main reason you came to
the Botanic Gardens". The most responses were, "to feed the ducks".
Maybe there is a lesson there . The need for some excitement, movement
or something people can relate to.
and Domains: these are generally nice places to go and
have a high profile in the local community.
features: there are many of these in every town or city.
Outside the town hall and in prominent places. All to beautify the
area and make it more attractive to both locals and visitors.
The survey in 1976 examined
what people did in the Christchurch Botanic Gardens.
order of importance
- Looking at trees
- Looking at wildlife
- Visiting conservatories
This provides a guide
to the type of design elements that need to be included.
contrary to popular opinion some of the best plant collections
in New Zealand are in private gardens. These are owned and maintained
by serious amateurs or semi-professionals.
Today many of these are
open to the public either regularly, occasionally or seasonally. There
may be a charge for charity or a charge to pay for the upkeep or even
run as a business. Some of the better ones have associated food and
beverage outlets, souvenirs, merchandise, plants ete to increase revenue.
of the fastest growing tourism ventures in New Zealand today is
Farm Stay/Home Stay. Everything from the Hobby Farm to the High
Country Station is offering a range of truly NZ "get to know you"
Associated with many
of these areas are some of the country's best private gardens. In
fact, in some cases the garden is the prime attraction.
Not only is it the garden
but also the farm with its high number of trees planted on the land.
Some of the country's largestcollection of trees either generally
or in specific generic collections are to be found on farms (MacKay,
Kiwifruit Country, Disneyland, Sea World, Dreamworld all
use horticulture to enhance the quality of the visit.
Take for example Disneyland.
It always looks great, is extremely well landscaped, with not a plant
out of place. It is the gardens its horticultural expertise
in planning, design, planting and maintenance that sets it apart from
Kiwifruit Country serves to enthuse people to learn more about horticulture.
Living education and it is only a small part of the horticulture
that fascinates people.
there are the old fashioned plantsman nurseries which are
a joy for the specialist to visit. However, Palmers have changed
the face of nursery retailing turning it into an adventure and a
day out. With its special guests Maggie Barry and Bill Ward
coffee shop, range of other garden related products and of course
plants. Swafield (1992) stated "Garden centres rival shopping centres
as a weekend leisure focus".
Turning now to another
aspect of Tourism, Ecotourism. In the forest, in alpine areas, along
the coastline and in National Parks the visitor/tourist is offered
many opportunities to experience nature. Short bush walks are the
most popular visitor activity by tourists (IVS 1994/5). Skills are
needed to preserve these assets to ensure they are sustained in
Already alpine walks
and treks, mountain bike trips, all terrain tours, mountain walks,
coastal walks are operated by tour companies. This will grow and
mean more work for horticulturalists, park managers, planners and
rangers. More and more horticultural skills will be required to
maintain the natural heritage.
Swafield (1992) stated
resorts were "created because of a particular scenic attraction".
Take for example Rotorua where the Government Gardens has long been
regarded as one of the major attractions in Rotorua. Featured on
postcards in promotional leaflets, books, movies, videos etc.
In Nelson in 1982 the Council
decided to reduce bedding plants by 25% to save costs. Inspection
showed that the uncontrolled use of bedding plants had led to a dilution
of their effect. The new plan concentrated bedding where it mattered
high profile and set in the landscape to provide excellent
bedding features. Two years later Council were asking for more because
visitors commented on it, locals loved it and it did something for
the city pride! Needless to say staff actually refused to plant
more because it would water down what was being done and reduce the
dramatic impact on people of those displays.
Attractions should be absolutely fabulous with design, displays and
maintenance being of a high standard, but often they are not.
In summary there is a great deal that can be done to improve horticulture
as a major drawcard to a city, town etc based upon the way people
are flocking to horticultural events, garden tours and the like.
There is a growing interest
in visiting gardens. Everywhere there are garden visits organised.
In the Wellington Region in August 1995, 5 or more separate organisations
ran garden visits with some 150 private gardens open to the public.
In addition New Zealand Rail organised a train trip to the Wairarapa
to visit gardens. Palmers Garden Centre and Williams Garden Centre
also organised them. The list goes on.
Deloitte Touche Tobmatsu
(1993) conduct an annual visitor survey of attractions in New Zealand.
The following chart shows
the dates when public and private gardens in the survey were first
opened to the public:
have the longest opening hours of all attractions. 51% of all gardens
have an entrance fee.
less than $5,000 on marketing.
Gardens have the lowest
marketing budget of all attractions.
Gardens know less about
visitor make up than other attractions.
When looking at this information one gets the impression that everyone
is getting on the bandwagon especially private gardens. One
thing this survey does not state is the quality of those gardens,
best season, outstanding feature or landscape design. This issue
needs to be addressed.
Note that the majority of the visitors are not international but
domestic. Of the domestic visitors I suggest a high % are local
ratepayers. If the locals take their out of town visitors to the
gardens are they going to feel proud of the gardens? That is the
Local authorities which want to attract tourists and use their parks
and gardens to add to the overall landscape of the city or be an
attraction have to meet the competition head on. Take a look at
their parks and gardens, change them, improve them or lose the tourism
Visitor Numbers to Gardens
|Total visitors (includes domestic
and international tourists)
Gardens 2.76 million visitors
This compares with:
Museums 3.82 million visitors
Attractions 4.09 million visitors (includes theme parks etc.)
Average number of visitors per garden 95,366
77% of all gardens have less than 30,000 visitors.
Estimated only 9% (248,000) of international visitors visit
70.3% of gardens predict an increase in visitor numbers of
In order to test the popularity
of horticulture as a tourism attraction 1 looked at different media
and the programmes being offered.
||Several have featured gardens. The Ellerslie Flower Show is
being filmed as a documentary.
||Various news items feature high profile horticultural events.
|Palmers Garden Show
||Includes gardening, garden visits, landscaping, nurseries,
etc. Its ratings are extremely high.
||Conservation, gardening, gardening visits etc.
||Flowers, plants, gardens all feature.
||Places to visit
||Gardening, Gardens etc
information was taken from the New Zealand Gardener August 1994,
||National Trust Gardens
Small Acorns 15 gardens to visit
Taranaki Garden Festival
Huntly School Garden Festival
|Gardens to Visit
||Brown Sugar Café
Pams Lavender Patch
Waikato Flower Show
Dunedin Rhododendron Festival
Matamata Festival of Flowers
Manawatu Rose & Garden
||To New Caledonia
Small Acorns 8 garden tours advertised
Nelson Town and Country Tours
Travel Works 4 tours overseas
Travelwise 6 New Zealand and overseas tours
Youngs Garden Tours East Coast
||Gardener holiday in New Caledonia
This shows the range
of advertising using horticulture to promote tourism.
New Zealand Gardener
index feature articles on gardens and tourism
||Gardens to Visit
||Article about gardens to visit
||Articles on nurseries.
When looking at brochures
promoting cities and regions parks and reserves feature strongly.
NZTB uses amazing photographs of flora, scenery, parks and gardens.
The range of photographs is wide.
Brochures of specific
attractions always features plants, garden setting, views or scenery.
Horticultural events are
proving more and more popular all the time and create a major inflow
of domestic tourists. The day-tripper is just as important as the
At some point in time these events will reach market saturation reducing
the likelihood of them being repeated in the future due to insufficient
visitors to make it profitable.
The decline in attendance may also be caused by too many poor quality
events rather than too many good events.
Looking at the nature of
tourism a range of other horticultural sectors influences tourism.
||Stadiums, sports grounds
The influence of horticulture
There are 4 major impacts
of tourism. Each has its good points and bad points. Right now everyone
is promoting the good points and in some cases ignoring the bad.
authorities and other groups see tourism as a saviour creating employment
and wealth in a region. Jobs are created in three ways directly,
indirectly and induced. The indirect and induced jobs are as a result
of the multiplier effect of tourism dollars spent in your community.
There may also
be jobs created in horticulture.
Use and effects on the environment
must be considered under the Resource Management Act. The normal aspects
of new developments are dealt with but managers must now consider
the physical carrying capacity of the area.
areas often don't have a high level of development and may deteriorate
rapidly and unseen to the eye. Photographs on a 12 monthly basis
help if a comparison needs to be made.
Gardens with good paths that don't wear out, grass well maintained,
vandalism minimised and with litter cleared up have a high carrying
capacity. Garden areas are very suitable to develop to take pressure
off natural areas.
Social carrying capacity is also important. Visitors do not mind sharing
the discovery of a fine garden with 50 others. This issue is greater
in National Parks where low social carrying capacity has to be managed
to ensure a high quality experience.
does tourism have on the New Zealand culture? What is the typical
New Zealand garden? Does the number and type of visitors influence
garden design? A range of issues need to be addressed.
tourism impact on the local population? Studies have shown that
the constant flow of visitors can have either a negative or positive
impact on the social structure of our society. Attitudes and habits
will change as people interact with tourists from other cultures.
impacts while dealt with separately need to be considered in an
interrelated way. Managers need to understand the nature of tourism,
tourist behaviour and land management issues to derive the greatest
benefit from increased visitor numbers.
- Horticulture and
Tourism are intertwined to such an extent that without horticulture
tourism would suffer.
- Public agencies provide
the bulk of good horticulture.
- Garden visitors are
made up of 91% domestic and 9% international visitors.
- Horticulture impacts
more on tourism than just aesthetically as the food and beverage
and decoration industries also rely on horticulture.
- There are opportunities
for horticultural businesses from arborist to food production,
from landscape to garden maintenance etc.
- Promotion of regions
often depends upon the images portrayed by horticultural features.
- The local population
need to have pride in their area to generate more visitors.
- The role of horticulture
will change in the future as we will use different techniques
to maintain and improve our environment.
- The influence of
the media, festivals, shows, open gardens and the like will place
more pressure on professionals to provide higher quality public
Collier, A. (1991).
Principles of Tourism. A New Zealand Perspective. Pitman. Auckland.
Crompton, (1993). Paper
presented to New Zealand Recreation Association Conference, Wellington.
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
(1993) Attractions Survey. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. Christchurch.
Murphy, P. E. (1982).
Tourism. A Community Approach. Methuen. London.
Jolliffe, A. G. (1993).
Tourism Profitability. Unpublished paper CIT. Wellington
Jolliffe, A. G. (1976).
Visitor Surveys A Practical Guide. Dissertation. Lincoln
Mackay, M. (1993).
Paper presented to Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
New Zealand Gardener.
(August 1994) Wilson and Horton. Auckland.
New Zealand Tourism
Board. (1994). International Visitor Survey 1993/4. New Zealand
Tourism Board. Wellington.
Swafield (1992). Landscapes
of Leisure. Leisure Recreation and Tourism. Eds Perkins H. C.
& Cushman, G. Longman Paul. Auckland.
Related to this article
is the RNZIH Annual Conference 2000
Seminar on Garden Visiting - Potential for Tourism.
Towards a national information
register of showcase open gardens. Eden
Garden Pavilion, 24 Omana Ave, Epsom, Auckland, 24 November 2000.
of this conference are now available from the RNZIH.