Ads for overseas holidays are everywhere, but where are the the ones encouraging us to spend our holiday money on these shores, asks Winston Aldworth.

Each day as I drive or cycle to work, I'm bombarded with tourism ads. On the backs of buses, on the walls of buildings and on the sides of bus stops, I'm encouraged to fly to the Gold Coast, Rarotonga, Sydney, Hawaii, Hong Kong and LA. All great places.

But where are the ads encouraging me to spend my holiday money on these shores? With the honourable exception of the Bay of Islands, you could be forgiven for thinking the rest of the country doesn't want Aucklanders to visit.

New Zealand is very good at selling its tourism abroad. I'm a fan of the 100% campaign and have heard it spoken of with great admiration by people whose job it is to sell tourism in other countries.

But too little is done to promote domestic tourism.


Yes, foreign money is good for the economy. But if you can convince an Aucklander to spend their leisure dollars in Wellington or Nelson - rather than heading for Australia, the US or the islands - then isn't that money just as good as the cash of a visiting German?

That's one of the reasons we started our Go South series - we wanted to talk about and celebrate the South Island.

There is nowhere on Earth quite like our own South Island. In the next few weeks, we'll reveal the results of our survey showing which South Island attractions our readers loved the best.