Hospitality New Zealand (HNZ) says delaying the opening of New Zealand’s border to foreign nationals until April 30 will see more hospitality businesses going to the wall.
HNZ Chief Executive Julie White said it is inevitable more businesses, many of them family-owned, will fail over the next five months without foreign tourists.
“Many simply won’t survive on domestic tourism alone,” she said.
“I’m completely baffled as to why our borders can’t be opened to tested and vaccinated people from safe countries well before then.
“That would give them the same status as more than 90 per cent of Kiwis, and hopefully more.
“At the very least, why can’t we open the trans-Tasman bubble to Australians? They are just as safe as we are.
“Some states have fewer cases of COVID than we do, but still we block entry to them at a time when the hospitality and tourism industries – as well as the broader economy – need all the help they can get.
“I have yet to see a reason why we have to wait this long.
“There will be needless casualties over the next five months because of this approach.”
Echoing Ms White’s words, Tourism Export Council of NZ chief executive, Lynda Keene said she was disappointed with the Government’s decision to continue with self-isolation into Q1 of 2022.
“The impact on international tourism businesses cannot be understated,” she said.
“Decisions today will affect the next five years of New Zealand’s international tourism offering.
“Australia will be the winner. New Zealand will be the loser.”