Queenstown’s hospitality scene is under on-going pressure due to staffing issues and changes in immigration. On top of that, delays in visa processing times continue to complicate the introduction of new people into the workforce. Ian Lees-Galloway, Labour Immigration Minister, said that there has been a slow-down, but also reassured that there was work being done to reduce the visa processing times.
Restaurateurs around the city are concerned that attracting and retaining staff is difficult. Furthermore, the Queenstown restaurant and café scene is dynamic and with the amount of new openings and closings puts undue pressures on existing business.
Hamish Walker, local National MP, said, “Queenstown businesses are gearing up for their busiest time of year with the ski season fast approaching and these processing times are causing great uncertainty for staff. The flow-on impact will mean these businesses do not have the staff to operate at capacity and therefore our tourism sector and our economy will suffer.”
Queenstown has long been a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, but the high cost of living and lack of accommodation can often cause problems. When coupled with the fluctuation of seasonal workers and difficulties with immigration laws, it becomes clear that there needs to be a coordinated response from everyone involved.