In Rotorua, operators shared with Ardern how important the wage subsidy has been to the industry and how critical the 8-week extension to this subsidy that was announced in budget 2020, will be to the long-term recovery of all tourism related businesses.
What about that recovery? Ardern explained that domestic travel takes up 60 percent of the New Zealand tourism market which equates to a 9 billion spend therefore industry operators and government must work together and think about how best to promote that.
She also shared that plenty of interesting ideas had been bounced around for a post COVID recovery, including flexibility on the working week to encourage weekend travel.
When it comes to talk of trans-Tasman bubble Ardern assured that she continues to work towards creating that bubble as soon as it is safe to do so, and to re-open borders.
But, for now Ardern insists it is all about promoting domestic travel and inspiring Kiwis to get out and about and using all sorts of local businesses. She has been encouraged by the news that future bookings are looking up!
She stressed: “New Zealand has had a thriving tourism industry before, and we will again!”