New Zealand

Small Kiwi business needs recognised by industry body

Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) has established a new working group to explore the challenges and opportunities facing small tourism businesses. The Small Business Reference Group has been formed to support TIA when meeting the needs of small and micro tourism businesses.

Action to support the large number of small businesses in the industry is a vital move, with an estimate that 94 percent of Kiwi tourism businesses employ less than 20 staff, and the majority of those businesses have 0-5 staff.

TIA Advocacy and Engagement Manager Steve Hanrahan said: “The nature of issues faced by tourism businesses are often similar, regardless of size. But the solutions are not always the same, particularly due to time and resource constraints of small business. These businesses also present a window into regional differences and are an important connection with local communities.”

Steve Hanrahan
Steve Hanrahan, TIA

Like the wider tourism industry, many small operators have been severely impacted by the closure of New Zealand’s borders, while others who are more focused on domestic tourism have been less affected. Twelve small business owners representing a range of tourism sectors and a number of regions have agreed to take part in the group, which will meet quarterly.

Prior to the group’s first meeting, they were asked to identify the three top issues or priorities for their businesses. The most common were reopening New Zealand’s borders, cashflow/finance and short-term (summer) business planning.

Mr Hanrahan said: “Appropriate responses and solutions for small businesses were debated and TIA will be progressing these over the coming months.”

Members of the group are:

  • John Barrett, Kapiti Island Nature Tours, Wellington
  • Donna Brooke, Sunlover Retreat, Coromandel
  • Fergus Brown, Holiday Parks New Zealand
  • Richard Burdon, Glen Dene Hunting & Fishing, Lake Hawea
  • David Gatward-Ferguson, Nomad Safaris, Queenstown
  • Grant Harnish, Salt Air, Northland
  • James Lazor, Mt Dobson Ski Area, Tekapo
  • Adele Marsden, New Zealand Educational Tours, Tauranga
  • Steve & Kate Norris, Fiordland Trips and Tramps, Fiordland
  • Richard Ussher, Cable Bay Adventure Park, Nelson
  • Trevor Weir, Rotorua Duck Tours, Rotorua
  • Jacqui Wilkinson, Adventure Capital, Auckland

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Tourism in New Zealand was a $112 million per day industry. Tourism delivered around $47 million in foreign exchange to the New Zealand economy each day of the year. Domestic tourism contributed another $65 million in economic activity every day.
  • Tourism was New Zealand’s biggest export earner, contributing $17.2 billion or 20.4% of New Zealand’s foreign exchange earnings (year ended March 2019).
  • 14.4% of the total number of people employed in New Zealand worked directly or indirectly in tourism. That means 393,279 people were working in the visitor economy.
  • The Tourism 2025 & Beyond sustainable growth framework/Kaupapa Whakapakari Tāpoi has a vision of growing a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders.

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