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New Zealand tourism industry bodies unite to highlight need for ongoing Government assistance

New Zealand tourism industry bodies unite to highlight need for ongoing Government assistance
July 28, 2020

Industry organisations from across the tourism, hospitality and event sectors have joined forces to plead for assurance about the New Zealand Government's plans for ongoing support.

With all the organisations having members who are directly impacted by the closed border and with the end of New Zealand’s wage subsidy approaching, Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts presented a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at a meeting in Wellington this morning.

The letter is signed by the Bed & Breakfast Association New Zealand, Bus & Coach Association, Conventions & Incentives New Zealand, Entertainment Technology New Zealand, Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand, Holiday Parks New Zealand, Hospitality New Zealand, Luxury Lodges of New Zealand, New Zealand Airports Association, New Zealand Cruise Association, New Zealand Professional Fishing Guides Association, Rental Vehicle Association, Restaurant Association of New Zealand, Ski Areas Association New Zealand, Tourism Export Council of New Zealand, Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand and Youth Hostels Association New Zealand.

While congratulating the New Zealand Government for the ongoing success of measures to protect the country from the COVID-19 pandemic, the letter advised how the tourism, hospitality and event sectors are all suffering directly from the necessity to have border restrictions and will need a supportive Government partner for the foreseeable future.

Roberts advised “thousands of vulnerable workers remain desperately worried about their futures. If there is to be no targeted wage subsidy extension, please signal as soon as possible what form ongoing Government support for our devastated sectors will take.

“We accept that not every business will survive this crisis, not every job can be saved. But well targeted Government support can limit the damage and give us something to rebuild from.”

Roberts says the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism (New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis also attended the meeting) were very receptive to the organisations' arguements, adding "the Prime Minister understands why our sectors need more certainty around what support the Government is able to provide. I expect some further announcements soon.

“There is also strong agreement that government and industry must work together to rebuild a sustainable tourism industry that delivers for Aotearoa and its people.” 

TIA’s Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan, released last week, calls on the Government elected on 19th September to prioritise the survival and recovery of tourism businesses.

Australia recently announced a targeted extension of its JobKeeper programme until March 2021. However, the New Zealand wage subsidy is expiring from next month.

Click here to read the joint letter.

Image (from left): New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern,  Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts and New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis at today's meeting.

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