Chief Executive Chris Roberts said: “Tourism was the first industry to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the last to recover.”
The incoming Government must use all its resources and work alongside the private sector to revive and then revitalise the tourism industry for the benefit of our people and Aotearoa.
“Tourism is a highly resilient industry. With targeted support, system fixes and a shared vision, the industry will once again make an essential contribution to New Zealand’s success.”
TIA says the industry needs the incoming Government to:
- Prioritise the survival and recovery of tourism businesses devastated by our closed border
- Progressively ease travel restrictions when this can be done safely
- Continue working with operators to stimulate domestic tourism demand, to benefit communities across the country
- Support innovation that drives sustainability and productivity
- Work with us on a joint vision to deliver the world’s most sustainable tourism industry
- Ensure that all the parts of government understand their impact on tourism and their role in its revitalisation
The Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan identifies 37 specific actions required from the incoming Government, in six categories – Vision, Partnership, Regions, Natural Resources, Knowledge and People. Some of this work was already underway before the borders were closed but has become even more important as a result of the pandemic, Mr Roberts says.
“This is an opportunity to make bold changes to fix longstanding systemic issues that have compromised our desire to build a truly sustainable tourism future. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to rebuild our tourism industry to ensure it provides real benefits to the communities where it operates and protects the natural resources that our visitors travel here to enjoy.”
Tourism must be supported so it is ready to make a strong contribution to New Zealand’s economic recovery when demand returns, he says.
TIA is sending the Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan to all the major political parties, encouraging them to incorporate the action points into their tourism policies.
The association is also encouraging tourism operators around the country to get involved and highlight the importance of tourism to their local election candidates. They can use the Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan to lobby MPs and raise tourism issues at election meetings.
“As the whakatauki we have adopted for our Action Plan suggests, we are laying down a challenge to the incoming Government to take action, to save thousands of tourism businesses and jobs.”
Kua Takoto Te Manuka – the leaves of the manuka tree have been laid down.
“If the incoming Government accepts this wero, we can progress together. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.”
To read the Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan, go to https://tia.org.nz/advocacy/tia-projects/tia-election-2020-action-plan