Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: How is botulism tourism's problem?

A 100% Pure NZ Tourism New Zealand advertising campaing picture.
A 100% Pure NZ Tourism New Zealand advertising campaing picture.

We're a funny old country. When the dairy farming industry damn near ruins the nation's international image and our ability to sell anything overseas, who do we punish? The tourism sector, of course!

Somehow, an unclean pipe in a Waikato dairy factory has been laid at Tourism New Zealand's door. Chin-scratching pundits across society have been pondering whether we should draw an end to the astonishingly successful "100%" New Zealand campaign, as if some personal sacrifice were necessary for moral atonement. Like some nutty Opus Dei monk severing his hand because his eye offends him.

Now, I like a decent 1kg block of cheese as much as the next man, but the nation's fawning embrace of farming is getting out of hand when we allow a great tourism marketing campaign to be sullied by the milkman's botulism.

Having consigned our manufacturing sector to oblivion, the tourism industry is the only thing putting diversity into our economy. We should encourage it; rally round it. As I wrote just a fortnight ago, there's plenty of life in the 100% campaign yet - try 100% surfing, 100% vineyards, 100% adrenalin, for starters.

Now is the time to stand 101% by the 100% campaign.

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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