Hobbiton is up in arms and lashing back against the $400 million tourism rescue package which its chief executive has labelled a “joke”.
Hobbiton chief executive Russell Alexander said the budgeted package was a disappointment and a joke, slamming the suggestion that consultants could assist tourist businesses reimagine themselves domestically.
“I mean what do they want us to do, turn the Shire into a mini-golf course?
“Hobbiton is a tour business, that’s what it does. If there were other opportunities we would have done them by now.”
The $400 million rescue package was announced on Thursday and Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said the money would be used to “protect key tourism attractions and amenities”.
However, details on what these key attractions are and how they are measured were lacking.
Alexander was scathing towards the Minister of Tourism Kelvin Davis whom he says does not understand the tourist industry.
“He [Davis] has no idea and is missing in action,” Alexander said.
“The problem is we have a minister of Tourism who is talking at his industry not talking with or for his industry,”
The tourism industry needs a Minister who can perform.