Tourism operators are excited that they can start hosting Kiwis again from Thursday.
Yesterday’s announcement that travel within New Zealand can start again on Thursday is a huge relief that won’t come a day too soon for hundreds of businesses, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says.
However, the decision to delay the opening of bars for a week and to limit gatherings to 10 people for at least the next two weeks will have an adverse economic impact.
“While the health of New Zealanders must remain the priority, we’ve heard today of hundreds more jobs going from SkyCity and other tourism employers. Many tourism, hospitality and event businesses are teetering on the edge. In the current circumstances, even a week or two’s delay will push some over the cliff, and result in further job losses and business closures,” TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says.
“We are pleased the Prime Minister has promised direct support in the Budget to the businesses most affected by the pandemic but that may come too late for some.”
Tourism businesses are strongly committed to operating in a safe and responsible manner to minimise the risks of returning to Level 3 or 4.
TIA has been working with government agencies to develop guidelines on how tourism operators can work safely at Level 2, while maintaining physical distancing and contact tracing. Guidelines for accommodation providers have been circulated and guidelines for activity operators are being finalised and will be released soon.
“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.”