Golden Bay tourism businesses are being encouraged to apply to the Government’s new relief fund for those adversely affected by the damage to Takaka Hill Road caused by Cyclone Gita.
The area’s tourism businesses have been hit hard by the closure of the road during their peak visitor season. Tourism represents about 20% of Golden Bay’s economy and is a major employer in the region.
It is estimated that some businesses face losing up to half of their annual revenue due to access to Golden Bay being severely restricted since 20 February.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa has been working with its members in the region to support them since Cyclone Gita.
“We have been working closely with the Nelson Regional Development Agency to understand the scale of the impact and, while we appreciate the Government’s $100,000 contribution to the relief fund, we are concerned that losses sustained by local businesses will be far higher,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.
“Our conversations with TIA members suggest that their losses run well over this amount. Most have had to make staff redundant and are worried about how they will get through the usually quiet winter months.
“All those businesses in Golden Bay affected by the aftermath of Cyclone Gita should apply to the relief fund as soon as it opens. That will give the Government a better idea of the scale of the business losses and may prompt an increase in the amount available.”