WELLINGTON, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Concerns over pressure on the environment and road accidents are driving fears that too many tourists are coming into New Zealand, but most locals welcome the tourism boom, according to an official survey out Tuesday.
The survey commissioned by the government's Tourism New Zealand agency and the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) aimed to gauge the mood of the nation regarding tourism, which overtook dairy last year to become the country's biggest export earner.
Visitor arrivals hit a record 3.26 million in the year to the end of March, up 10 percent from the March 2015 year, continuing the climb since breaking the 3 million mark in the year ended July 2015.
The survey found 46 percent of New Zealanders felt the number of visitors was just right, while 30 percent thought there were too few visitors and 18 percent thought there were too many.
However, it found, "There has been an increase in those thinking that the current number of tourists is putting too much pressure on New Zealand, although most recognize the impact is only on some areas."
Twenty-five percent thought the current number was putting too much pressure on New Zealand, while 65 percent thought the country was well-equipped to handle the current number.
And 30 percent thought future growth in international arrivals was too high.
The main issues raised in the research included road safety, potential damage to the environment and lack of accommodation, Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said in a statement.
It was important to recognize that work was underway to tackle some of the key issues identified.
"Tourism New Zealand and TIA are working with other agencies and playing an important part in addressing road safety for foreign drivers," said Bowler.
"We are also involved in a major piece of work to identify and improve accommodation supply and most significantly, we are driving shoulder season travel which is helping to relieve pressure on infrastructure at peak times."
New Zealand where motorists must drive on the left side of the road has begun a campaign to educate foreign drivers about the dangers of its roads.