Budget Backpackers: Economic and Social Impacts

May 23, 2016

Dr Tara Duncan from the University of Otago’s Department of Tourism wove together research and industry information to give a rich picture of the multifaceted nature of the budget backpacker and their value to our economy and communities.

“Backpackers are frequently also working holiday makers, visiting friends and relatives, and potential longer term employees. They contribute in many ways to local economies and communities as they travel, study, work and volunteer”, said Dr Duncan. “Recognising that backpackers are often more than travellers is essential, especially for destinations such as Queenstown”, she said.

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The Missing ‘F’ Word: Fauna, Flora and … Fungi

May 3, 2016

Dr Buchanan fell into fungi by accident – he was offered a job as an impoverished postgraduate. But he, like the audience of around 60 people from across all walks of Queenstown life, clearly has a fondness for fungi and is on a mission to increase its profile.

Often forgotten yet truly prolific, the fungal kingdom is five to six times the size of the plant kingdom (it’s estimated that there are around 1.5 million species, of which maybe only 5% are explored). Dr Peter Buchanan provided many reasons why this second kingdom of life deserves recognition for its economic, health and ecological contributions.

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