Immediate support for the worst-hit tourist communities, mixed with a plan for long-term sustainability is exactly what the hospitality and tourism sector needs, according to Hospitality New Zealand.
Chief Executive Julie White noted that the Government’s Tourism Communities Plan does the right thing by taking a regional, sector and business approach, the COVID impact has been felt across the country however, some regions have been impacted more than others.
“Fiordland, South Westland, Queenstown Lakes, Mackenzie District and Kaikōura are exactly where our members have been hit hardest, and continue to be so, by the fall in incoming tourist numbers. Many of them are on their knees, so this is very welcome news,” said White.
“This will give them time to rebuild as confidence grows from the opening of the bubble with Australia and as the winter season kicks in.”
The support announced for the wider industry that includes support for Regional Tourism Organisations, Inbound Tour Operators, Maori tourism, the Department of Conservation and local councils is also timely because they feed directly into the hospitality sector across the country.
“The formation of a Tourism Industry Transformation Plan, combining the skill and know-how of the industry with government to plan for the future, is a positive move, and is not before time,” continued White.
“We need a sustainable model that will help guard against the devastation of the past year as we move to a new normal of fewer tourists, and this could be the way to do it. We do need to re-think industry standards, but there are concerns around compliance costs, we look forward to working in partnership with the Government on these standards and the rollout.”
White went on to say that the additional $26mil Regional Tourism Organisation funding is especially welcomed, the industry-led, cofounded industry-local government initiative launch of today’s EAT DRINK PLAY 10-day festival in Wellington is a great example of how the previously allocated COVID recovery fund is assisting local recovery socially and economically.
“A sustainable focus is vital if the industry is to build back stronger than ever, and today’s announcement takes us closer to that. Hospitality NZ looks forward to working with the wider industry and Government on the plan to build stronger future tourism in New Zealand,” White concluded.