Beautiful or Else

“In New Zealand some things are taken very seriously and some are not. Sport is serious. Politics is not. Lifestyle is serious; religion less so,” explains Joanna Norris for Abu Dhabi’s English-language newspaper The National. “Considered among the most important, however, is the face this little country presents to the world. New Zealand’s image abroad is the source of both national pride and collective handwringing. The release of a new edition of any influential guidebook from Lonely Planet to Frommer’s sparks a flurry of activity in civic offices and tourist bureaux, with disparaging observations quickly countered by indignant press statements. ‘We offer a lifestyle which is pretty relaxed in this part of the world — a lot of people who visit often return to live,’ one baffled publicity officer told a local paper, with not a hint of irony, after her town was critiqued. Of the same town, the Lonely Planet authors were a little more succinct. ‘Shabby,’ it said.”

Tags: Frommer's  Lonely Planet  National (The)