Thursday Dec 8, 2022
Thursday Dec 8, 2022

New Zealand sets out post-COVID-19 tourism priorities

2021 Mar 19, 16:24, WELLINGTON

New Zealand government is planning for a new-look tourism sector after the COVID-19 vaccination program and when international borders re-open, according to Tourism Minister Stuart Nash on Friday.

In a speech at the University of Otago Tourism Policy School conference held in Queenstown, one of New Zealand's key tourism resorts, Nash set out priorities for the country's pillar industry.

The 400 million-NZ dollar (286.6 million-US dollar) tourism recovery package in 2020 was an emergency intervention. Further, structural support will be needed in 2021 before changes will be made to prepare for a new landscape in 2022 and beyond, Nash said.

"The 2020 Package, and wider tourism support like 1.8 billion NZ dollars in wage subsidies, 300 million NZ dollars in interest-free loans, and government-funded vouchers for free business advice or training, have helped tourism operators adapt to domestic markets or look for alternatives," he said.

"I have been upfront that mass-scale international tourism is unlikely before 2022, but we are working hard to open a trans-Tasman bubble in 2021. We are on-track to vaccinate the majority of Kiwis against COVID-19 by the end of this year," the minister said.

Further support for tourism in 2021 requires a more structural approach for those who need it most, he said, adding potential next steps till borders re-open include making it easier to hibernate firms and to start up again, help to diversify regional economies over-reliant on international tourism, and deployment of tourism workers to other sectors.

"The long-term picture for tourism once borders reopen requires more fundamental change," he said.

Tourism in New Zealand comprises an important sector of the national economy, which directly contributed about 6 percent of the country's gross domestic product prior to COVID-19.

China has been New Zealand's second-largest international visitor market since 2012 and one of the most valuable in terms of holiday visitor spend, according to New Zealand's national tourism organisation Tourism New Zealand.

New Zealand COVID-19 vaccination covid-19 Queenstown Tourism
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