New Zealanders can travel safely within our own country at Level 2 and must be allowed to do so, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says.
Keeping the tourism industry closed for weeks, if not months, longer until we reach Level 1 will put thousands of jobs and hundreds of businesses at risk, TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says.
“Safely reconnecting our families and communities is a social and economic necessity. Aviation, accommodation, hospitality, retail and most recreation and tourism activities can all be operated safely under Level 2,” says Chris.
Tourism businesses are fully committed to operating in a safe and responsible manner. Level 2 operating guidelines are being developed for sectors and individual businesses, including provisions for comprehensive contact tracing.
Individual businesses will have track and tracing processes in place for their customers before they open their doors, Chris says.
“Many tourism businesses will simply not be viable if stringent travel restrictions continue at Level 2.
"For example, only 2000 of the 25,000 Ruapehu ski season passholders live within 100km of the mountain.
“The Level 2 guidelines specifically allow for activities like bungy jumping and kayaking tours to resume, but there’s little point opening your business if you can only have locals as customers.”
Tourism businesses need to be able to start taking domestic winter bookings as soon as possible. If they are unable to start trading soon, many will be mothballed well before our international borders are reopened, he says.
New research released today shows that Kiwis love travelling around New Zealand. The research, carried out for TIA by Angus & Associates, shows that three in four New Zealand residents took an overnight domestic trip for leisure purposes in the year ending March 2020.
Overall satisfaction with their most recent trip averaged 8.7 out of 10, with half of all travellers reporting that their experience had exceeded their expectations. Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, Hawke’s Bay and the wider Canterbury region recorded the highest satisfaction levels.
“The next few months will be an amazing opportunity for Kiwis to experience the best New Zealand has to offer – and have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to save the livelihoods of other Kiwis,” Chris says.
“Tourism is the most impacted sector of the economy and faces the longest recovery. We are calling on the Government to take a sensible and safe approach to kickstarting our recovery.”