New Zealand

Hospitality vital to NZ social mental health and wellbeing

Research points to the importance of reopening hospitality safely as soon as possible

Hospitality NZ CEO, Julie White says the results of global research indicating the role hospitality plays in society’s mental health and wellbeing confirms what the industry has known locally for a long time.

Complied by UK-based internet-based market research and data analytics firm YouGov, key insights found that hospitality venues make an important contribution to social and mental wellbeing.

“Hospitality has always been key to the social fabric of New Zealand,” Ms White said.

“Ongoing lockdowns, limited social interaction and COVID restrictions, while vital to New Zealand’s physical health response, have negatively impacted Kiwis’ mental health, social cohesion and the opportunity to catch up with friends and family.

“This research points to the importance of reopening hospitality safely as soon as possible, to help facilitate social reconnection and communities to get back on their feet.”

The YouGov research showed 66 percent of adults agreed the social and mental wellbeing of the general population has been negatively impacted as a direct result of the closure of hospitality venues.

A total of 45 percent agreed that their own social and mental wellbeing had been negatively affected by closure of cafes, bars, and restaurants, while 57 percent of adults said they have a better appreciation for the contribution the hospitality sector brings to their own social and mental wellbeing.

Over one-in-five (22 percent) said cafés, bars, and restaurants now have greater significance as places to avoid feelings of loneliness and 45 percent agreed that socialising with friends and family outside the home once restrictions lifted has had the biggest impact on their happiness.

The research also found that hospitality venues offer important spaces for people to reconnect with others around them, promoting positive social and mental wellbeing.

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

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