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Holiday parks provide safe travel options as lockdown eases

Holiday parks provide safe travel options as lockdown eases
May 5, 2020

Holiday Parks New Zealand (HPNZ) has advised that having operated safely throughout Alert Levels 4 and 3 as essential services, holiday parks are well placed to provide safe options for domestic tourism at Level 2.

In anticipation of Level 2 guidelines, to be announced later this week, allowing for safe domestic travel, which he says the Government needs to prioritise, HPNZ Chief Executive, Fergus Brown advised “holiday parks around the country are exceptionally well prepared to begin hosting domestic travellers.

“Throughout lockdown they have proven their commitment to safety, ensuring social distancing and good hygiene, and there is no reason this can’t continue while allowing New Zealanders some well-earned freedom at Level 2.”

Emphasising that, to ensure the health and safety of New Zealanders, free camping sites should not be allowed to reopen at Level 2, Brown stated “travellers should instead be encouraged to support holiday parks and other commercial accommodation, helping protect Kiwi businesses and jobs.

“Going forward, the tourism industry is beginning work reimagining tourism ahead of a post-COVID-19 world, and there is a fantastic opportunity to reimagine freedom camping and how that should be managed in future.”

Responses to a recent member survey by Tourism Industry Aotearoa indicate that half of all tourism jobs could be lost in the short-term response to COVID-19. Up to 200,000 of the jobs currently supported by tourism may go. The impact on communities from losing tourism businesses and jobs is expected to be immense, especially in many smaller towns with a large reliance on the visitor economy. 

Brown added “many people will be in need of a break away from home following the strict lockdown period, and domestic travel at Level 2 provides an opportunity to safely support local businesses and Kiwi livelihoods while getting some normality back post-lockdown.” 

Brown hopes holiday parks will be given clear processes in good time from the New Zealand Government, so they can begin taking bookings as soon as possible and implement further safety measures, such as contact tracing.

Image: Himatangi Beach Holiday Park.

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