Mayor Jim Boult has revealed that the suspension of the trans-Tasman bubble during the Australian school holidays will cost Queenstown millions of dollars.
Nine flights, carrying more than 1500 passengers, were scheduled to arrive at Queenstown Airport on Monday from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Instead, they were all cancelled.
While he supported the government putting the public’s health first, Boult admitted it was a huge blow for the local economy.
"Being honest with you, I think we are going to see an extension of the closure for a period yet. It will require things to settle down in Australia and hopefully, that'll happen in a few weeks. But it does look like we are going to kiss goodbye to the Aussie school holidays,” commented Boult.
"This is the week we've been waiting for since the 6th of April when the bubble was announced. I'm now hearing from hoteliers, operators, that bookings are being cancelled by the dozen - somebody described it as an avalanche of cancellations. Instead of being a fabulous week, it's a bit of a gloomy week, I'm afraid.”