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HomeGeneral Tourism‘Relevant international tourism recovery strategy needed ahead of borders reopening’'

‚ÄòRelevant international tourism recovery strategy needed ahead of borders reopening‚Äô’

ProGuidesNZ chair, Wilhelm Lehmberg, welcomes the Auditor General’s decision to investigate the STAPP tourism rescue package awarded to just a select number of predominantly large tourist operators around the country.

“We felt this was totally biased and very unjust at the time”, says Wilhelm.

MBIE’s decision saw ProGuidesNZ, along with the majority of the Tourism Export Council of NZ inbound tour operators, all declined a grant, despite all having been without any international business since March 2020.

ProGuidesNZ, the trade association of professional tour guides in NZ, also fully endorses the statements made last week by the Tourism Export Council of NZ.

TEC very clearly, outlined in detail the status, considerations and actions needed to be taken by the various key government agencies involved in tourism.

"We appreciate the legwork put in by TEC to highlight to ministries the absolute urgent need to take the inbound market seriously and reassess the lack of government action to support and save the international tourism sector in NZ”, says Wilhelm.

“Whilst some of the key agencies can find time to create new and more complex compliance requirements and thus thrusting more costs on tour operators, some government’s agencies are seemingly divorced from the actual functioning of the inbound (international) tourism industry and the role tour guides, small tour operators and driver guides play.

"We are fearful that, when borders reopen, government agencies will just revert to a ‘business as usual’ mentality. Now is the time for ministries to realign their understanding of international tourism, more importantly to do a major overhaul of out-dated conservation, economic, immigration and transportation policies and systems. We need dynamic up to the play, low bureaucracy and even lower compliance cost strategies," says Wilhelm.

At the end of the day, the international sector of tourism has seen zero income for almost 12 months, and is not likely to see any for the rest of 2021 with any recovery to pre COVID-19 levels not expected before 2025.

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