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Latest lockdown could be the end for many New Zealand hospitality businesses

Latest lockdown could be the end for many New Zealand hospitality businesses
March 24, 2020

Hospitality New Zealand says many hospitality businesses will not reopen following the four-week shut down announced yesterday by the New Zealand Government, with the country moving to Alert Level 4 in the response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

The New Zealand Government has announced that it will be moving to at Alert Level 3 and will move to Level 4 as of tomorrow, forcing all non-essential businesses to close - including all bars, cafes, restaurants and casinos.

Accommodation providers are considered essential services and will not be forced to close.

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive Julie White says operators appreciate the Government is continually adapting and responding to the unfolding COVID-19 situation, putting public safety first.

Advising that hospitality businesses welcomed Monday's announcement that the $150,000 cap on wage subsidies would be removed, White stated "the $150,000 cap was a significant disadvantage to larger hospitality businesses so we are relieved to see that cap lifted.

“However, the costs that hospitality businesses have already faced to implement measures to respond to COVID-19 over the past couple of weeks, and ongoing costs to their businesses during the four week closure, will mean that many will not recover and may never reopen.”

Hospitality New Zealand has been delivering information and resources to its 3000 members to help them prepare for and get through the required shut-down.

Explaining that it will also continue to work with the Government to ensure hospitality businesses have the support that they need to survive and to recover, White commented "we are already seeing thousands of job losses from hospitality businesses that have closed over the past couple of weeks. Further closures could lead to thousands more job losses in hospitality businesses - and supporting industries such as laundry services, baking, food distributors, tour companies, travel and transport."

White said hospitality businesses would be a critical part of the country’s recovery, and they need the ongoing support of Government and New Zealanders, adding "our hospitality businesses are the fabric that connects our neighbourhoods and communities and an essential part of our tourism sector. They will be more important than ever in our recovery, and it’s vital that we can come together to keep them operating.”

The hospitality and tourism sectors collectively bring $40 billion per year into the New Zealand economy and employ more than 400,000 people.

Image shows the Wellington waterfront.

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15th March 2020 - Coronavirus travel restrictions to impact New Zealand tourism and sport

28th February 2020 - ‘Go with Tourism’ jobs programme launched in Canterbury

10th February 2020 - Tourism Industry Aotearoa delivers new communications event

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31st January 2020 - Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization

31st January 2020 - New survey shows percentage of hospitality staff found pay discrepancies

30th January 2020 - Research by Tourism Industry Aotearoa highlights progress in meeting sustainability goals

14th August 2018 - WTTC research shows tourism generated 18% of New Zealand’s GDP in 2017


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