Freeloading tourists not wanted here

Letter of the week, Otago Daily Times, 11 April 2009, on cost saving measures by Dunedin tourism authorities.

One of the great things about living in Dunedin is the free entertainment put on by our various councils.

The latest installment in this ongoing tragicomedy is the bemused letter to the ODT from Chris Marshall, of Kent, appropriately published on April Fool’s Day.

While holidaying in Dunedin, Mr Marshall was denied a bus timetable when he visited the iSite centre.

Now this might have been an understandable stuff-up by staff but it appears that keeping bus timetables out of the hands of tourists is a matter of policy by the council management.

In reply to the hapless Mr Marshall, the team leader of our visitor centre advises that “due to the expense of the publication” staff have been asked to “restrict their distribution to visitors” so as to avoid a “waste of resources”.

At last, the local councils have found a way to pay for the countless millions of dollars they are pouring into the stadium through cutting costs by refusing bus timetables to freeloading tourists at the visitor centre.

This is indeed a visionary idea – an information centre that saves us all money by getting rid of information.

The clear message is that visitors to our city must learn that there is no free ride and if they wish to wander around the streets, they should not expect us to subsidise their odd habits.

With such radiant brilliance of our civic leadership on display, Dunedin cannot fail to establish a remarkable international reputation.

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