web analytics
The Standard

tourism

Categories under tourism

  • No categories

National Breaches Crown Copyright

Written By: - Date published: 1:52 pm, January 17th, 2014 - 43 comments

polity_square_for_lynn

Rob Salmond at Polity on the National Party’s use of public service videos for political ends.

The Good and the Bad: NZ screen industry

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, December 16th, 2013 - 77 comments

Operation-8_15075_posterpiclarge

The NZ government changes to NZ’s screen industry incentives is a mixed bag. Some (not fully developed) support for a sustainable NZ industry. Selling out NZ workers; bowing to Hollywood corporate, neo-colonial values.

NZ’s struggling screen industry

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, October 24th, 2013 - 116 comments

Warner Flag

The NZ screen industry is in a precarious state, unable to compete with incentives in other countries to attract the crums from Hollywood productions, impacted by the currency high dollar rate.  Innovative ideas needed for an independent NZ industry, linked with public broadcasting TV & online viewing. [Updated: Maori TV & Barry Barclay]

The view from China

Written By: - Date published: 10:20 am, August 6th, 2013 - 103 comments

oil new zealand

The world has become a very strange place when NZ is getting lectured by China. Problem is, they aren’t wrong.

The convention economy

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, July 29th, 2013 - 14 comments

Burning Money natonomics2

You know it by now, Key, English, and Joyce have said it often enough – National’s formula for the economy is more mining, selling assets, and convention centres. We’re actually making less money from mining now than 5 years ago. Asset sales have been a predictable failure. But we’ve got 3 new convention centres coming, that’ll bring in the international revenue, eh? Nah.

Who’s Tourism Minister again?

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, June 25th, 2013 - 45 comments

hbt

Back in 2008, a bright new thing called John Key said that, if he became Prime Minister, he would take the Tourism portfolio. He said “it’s an industry that’s particularly important in maintaining and boosting this country’s employment levels and growth prospects” and “we can do an awful lot better”. International tourism revenue has fallen 20% since 2008.

Two videos & a documentary

Written By: - Date published: 12:09 pm, April 25th, 2013 - 6 comments

Hawkes Bay protest

A Jackson PR video promoting NZ scenery as a beautiful backdrop for the Hobbit & tourism; a Campbell Live video on a Dannevirke protest against Big Oil exploiting their area; an anti-fracking Canadian team filming in NZ.

The Stealth Dismantling of Environmental Protection

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, March 6th, 2013 - 27 comments

cow in river

To a first approximation the protection of the environment in this country is managed by two distinct entities; inside the Conservation estate it falls to DoC and outside of that it falls onto the Regional Councils. Under this government both are being slowly dismantled. Over the last month I’ve had the opportunity to talk extensively with DoC […]

Johny on ice

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, January 14th, 2013 - 55 comments

planet-earth-new-zealand

After four weeks holiday in Hawaii, John Key will briefly land in New Zealand this week before popping off on a junket to Antarctica. Now, you won’t hear a lot about this in the media – because half the press gallery is going with him and they’re just excited to go to Antarctica – but there’s all kinds of buzz coming out of the public service about how and why Key set up this trip.

Missing the point: Minister of Tourism fail

Written By: - Date published: 8:10 am, January 13th, 2013 - 102 comments

key fail

Michael Field on Stuff, responds to a question he attributes to “Labour Party blog, The Standard” about our Minister of Tourism spending most of his holidays in Hawaii  and fails to answer the question he cites. Field diverts to past PMs, ignores all Clark’s NZ holidays, and champions “Kiwi” Muldoon.

Where the bloody hell are you?

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, January 9th, 2013 - 70 comments

aloha from hawaii

Like here, Queensland’s tourism industry is hurting. Like ours, Queensland’s Tourism Minister thought it would be a good idea to holiday in a foreign tropical resort instead of supporting her local industry. But, there, the main newspaper responded with a devastating “where the bloody hell are you” attack that could sink her career. Here, not so much.

Secretive Haast-Hollyford Highway

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 pm, December 5th, 2012 - 15 comments

Lake Mackenzie - tunnel would pass under these mountains

A rather secretive bid in Central Otago/Westland for what amounts to a toll road cutting through a National Park. As with the as-yet-undecided tunnel and monorail proposals, this raises the question of whether Zealand is moving in the direction of selling its most public and protected land to private developers, for their private profit-generating schemes. It will have meetings to brief as many “key stakeholders” with a “significant interest” but will include “no public meetings”.

The Hobbit episode II… continues…

Written By: - Date published: 11:59 am, November 27th, 2012 - 103 comments

key meets warners

Today The Hobbit  employment dispute is revived, exposing gaps between principle and practice.  Jackson defends his role; some of Labour’s ABC club will attend the premier; John Key-speak weaves a contradictory path of  populist nonsense, linking the movie, 100%Pure, 100% Middle-earth and Macdonald’s.

Local Bodies: Mike Joy, Traitor or Martyr?

Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, November 26th, 2012 - 49 comments

local-bodies

Reprinted with permission from Local Bodies. See also the anonymous editorial in The Herald today – written no doubt by some genius who has never even looked at Dr Joy’s data, let alone understood its implications.

In other news, selling NZ: TPP, Hobbit rulz …

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, November 20th, 2012 - 57 comments

key-obama1

John Key is steaming ahead in selling NZ.  He is Obama’s wing-man to extend the TPP into the Asia-Pacific region.  Meanwhile, the “Hobbit Law” is taking a heavy toll on many NZ actors.  And there are claims that the Hobbit production has been harming animals.

John Key Selling (out) New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, November 11th, 2012 - 53 comments

Warner Flag

John Key’s selling out of NZ workers’ rights, tourism industry and identity to Hollywood, the TPP and US corporates, has reached a new low.  OIA papers reveal the extent to which Warners is dictating the NZ government’s promotion of 100% Middle-earth.

Key the Diplomat

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, November 3rd, 2012 - 171 comments

thesun

The UK’s biggest daily newspaper’s lead about Britain’s favourite son today:

Becks is as thick as bats*** says New Zealand’s PM

‘The Asian Century': Aus, NZ

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, October 29th, 2012 - 22 comments

Australia in the Asian Century

Gillard’s ‘Asian Century’ white paper, and negotiations of the ASEAN trade agreement (RCEP) are significant developments in US-China struggle for dominance in the region. Aussie wants to be a major player. How should NZ respond?

Selling New Zealand: 100% Muddle-Urf

Written By: - Date published: 9:45 am, October 11th, 2012 - 18 comments

key meets warners

Why is John Key backing the flagging tourist industry as a major export earner for NZ’s future? His trip to Hollywood was partly about using the Hobbit to promote NZ as a tourist destination. Why is the government so fixated on attracting more US tourists?

Greens call for new tools, QE to save jobs

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, October 7th, 2012 - 327 comments

russel norman

40,000 manufacturing jobs gone in four years. Manufactured exports in free-fall. Tourism revenue collapsing. If that’s not a crisis, what is? Why is the government going to do? Nothing. Nothing. On Q+A, Russel Norman put forward a solid proposal: lower the OCR, new tools to stop housing booms, and quantitative easing to pay for Christchurch […]

ImperatorFish: Environmentalists Are Not The Problem, Mr Groser

Written By: - Date published: 12:59 pm, July 3rd, 2012 - 9 comments

imperator fish logo

Tim Groser in the NBR: “Our enemies who are internal, will find one cow in one stream and feed it back to environmental activists in the developed world to be used to try to exclude New Zealand’s products and services in the ludicrous belief this will somehow help New Zealand.” Paranoid, much? And don’t you think the polluters are the problem, not the people who fail to hush it up?

Tea ladies to be drug tested

Written By: - Date published: 10:13 am, May 11th, 2012 - 45 comments

mrsdoyle

 Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson seems to be living  in an alternative universe, with her comment on Checkpoint yesterday that tea ladies in the adventure tourism industry could be drug tested: “The boss might be tested, it could be his turn or it could be the tea lady.” We’ll take it as a given that Kate assumes the boss […]

Key ups the ante on an empty hand

Written By: - Date published: 8:25 am, April 19th, 2012 - 77 comments

Bad poker hand

Back before John Key’s political nous deserted him (circa mid-November 2011), he would have run a mile from the dirty pokies deal with SkyCity. Instead, he’s claiming the dirty deal as his own and SkyCity’s chairman bragging about his access to Nat ministers. All to build a useless convention centre that will demand ongoing subsidies. Not worth the political capital.

Worth a thousand words: minister of tourism

Written By: - Date published: 10:33 am, January 31st, 2012 - 28 comments

tourism income big

A brighter future?

Written By: - Date published: 12:31 pm, September 23rd, 2011 - 32 comments

international tourism spending

The Greens’ awesome water policy

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, August 22nd, 2011 - 75 comments

cow in river

The Greens want to charge 10 cents per tonne of water used by farmers. Use the revenue to restore our rivers and lakes. Even Actoid types can support this: internalise externalities, use price mechanisms to encourage efficient use of resources. Naturally, the farmers don’t want to pay. Funny how ‘wealth creators’ never want to pay their fair share.

You paid to get Try-hard John on the telly

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 pm, August 1st, 2011 - 165 comments

letterman key

Remember John Key’s awful Letterman appearance?  Supposedly worth a fortune in tourism. We know that was complete crap. It was a stunt meant to impress us saps. Now we learn that we paid for it. PM’s office pleaded for months to get on Letterman. Try-hard even sent a demo tape. When that didn’t work, they paid a US PR agency $10K to seal the deal.

Howzat?

Written By: - Date published: 12:07 pm, June 28th, 2011 - 42 comments

indian tourism

Caption contest

Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, May 26th, 2011 - 58 comments

key hard at work in a little toy boat large

Chart of the day: measuring success

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, March 15th, 2011 - 32 comments

us visitors

Tourism: revenue flat, employment down

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, October 29th, 2010 - 29 comments

johns-cycleway

I’m confused by the up beat coverage of the tourism figures released on Wednesday. Have people actually read the numbers? Tourism is in decline. Employment and revenue are still going down, and the next time oil prices go through the roof, the situation will get worse. No cycleway will change that.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    10 hours ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 day ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 days ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 days ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 days ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    3 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    4 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    5 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    5 days ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    6 days ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    6 days ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    1 week ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    1 week ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    1 week ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    1 week ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to do his homework
    Nathan Guy needs to do his homework, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Answering questions in Parliament today on the dairy sector, the Primary Industries Minister denied John Key wants to float Fonterra. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister needs to put the kibosh on dirty diesel
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Todd McClay has to get a grip on the KiwiRail board and put the kibosh on its crazy plan for dirty diesel on the main trunk line, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. It has been revealed… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Louise Nicholas Day: Work still to do
    This is a summary of a speech I gave in honour of Louise Nicholas Day on March 31 The IPCA report showed us basic mistakes are still able to be made within a specialist unit. The Police Commissioner said there… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The meanness and pettiness of Nats in power
    Last night, Parliament debated NZ First MP Tracey Martin’s Bill to ensure children in the long term care of family members were able to access a clothing allowance currently only available to children in foster care. Many of these children… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere