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Tourism is ready to work with Govt on industry future – TIA

New Zealand’s tourism industry is ready and willing to work with the Government on the revival of the industry but needs immediate action and a clear roadmap to recovery, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says.

In response to Tourism Minister Stuart Nash’s speech to the Otago University Tourism Policy School Conference in Queenstown today, TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says the tourism industry is ready for the challenge of being a partner with Government in building back better.

“The Minister’s acceptance that tourism needs further assistance to get through 2021 is welcomed, including assistance for businesses that need to suspend their operations, regionally targeted programmes, and help with mental stress and fatigue. We look forward to seeing the details which we were told would be coming in a couple of weeks,” Chris says.

TIA endorses the Minister’s comment that as we transition to a new tourism, we cannot leave people, businesses and communities behind.

The business, community and mental health support is needed urgently. If our borders open to Australian travellers in the next few weeks, it will be a huge help but it is not the full answer, Chris says.

“Tourism is taking one for the team of five million, to keep New Zealand safe. That sacrifice needs to be acknowledged and responded to.”

Longer term, TIA agrees with the Minister that an intergenerational view is needed and that the pandemic has provided a chance to address some long term systemic issues that haven’t been properly addressed by previous governments.

In response to a question from Chris, Tourism Minister Stuart Nash revealed that the Tourism Futures Taskforce report, which he has had since early December, would finally be released in a couple of weeks but he would not be making any comment on it.

Nash indicated he planned to create a new group to provide him with ongoing advice.

“This is disappointing, given the huge time and resource the industry put into developing the report. It was intended to provide the blueprint for the future course of tourism but is now being seen as just a useful input into government thinking,” Chris says.

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