Restarting the tourism sector in New Zealand

The unexpected novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has forced the New Zealand business industry and the government to unite and decide upon their further actions on raising the businesses from the ashes. Tourism industry leaders are focused on coming back to business as better, stronger and more efficient.

For the past weeks the tourism sector leaders were working on a plan of how tourism should look and operate after the pandemic. The main aim has been determined to become more sustainable and make the sector more financially self-sustaining in the long term to make the lives of all New Zealanders better.

The current situation in New Zealand

The New Zealand PM has announced that due to speedy and efficient response to the virus outbreak they are now ready to ease the lockdown from Level 4 to Level 3 starting from the 27th of April. This means some businesses, as well as some educational facilities, will be allowed to reopen. However, it will be allowed to operate to a certain capacity. Traveling inside the country is also less restricted at this point. Social gatherings for up to 10 people are permitted but only in case of weddings or funerals. Level 3 will take place for 2 weeks. The borders remain closed to almost all foreign visitors.

The New Zealand Prime Minister has proudly announced that the country has coped very well with containing the virus spread at early stages. The transmission rate in New Zealand is now less than half a person each. This means that once the rate gets below one, the number of cases will drop until finally, it dies out. New Zealand currently has 1.487 confirmed cases and 20 deaths.

Tourism consequences of the COVID-19

Since the global pandemic was announced back in March 2020 due to the novel Corona Virus (COVID-19) New Zealand as the rest of the world had to close its borders in order to contain the virus and stop it from further spreading. On the 19th of March The New Zealand authorities announced strict border measures, stopped all travelers from boarding the aircraft heading to New Zealand (unless you are a national of New Zealand returning home).

This resulted in the tourism sector pausing its marketing activities until further notice. The tourism sector leaders are now focusing on the future, planning how to support the industry, and to be able to great the visitors once the pandemic is over. At the moment the tourism sector claims to be focused more on domestic visitors rather than foreign.

New Zealand is trying to stay positive and take the best from the COVID-19 situation. The tourism industry is now trying to listen to the communities in order to design the future of the industry in a way that it will benefit the New Zealanders and their home country.

What restoration measures will the government take?

The New Zealand government is ready to support its nation in order to restore its economy. The authorities have created a support package of 4% of GPD; with wage subsidies included, benefit increases and depreciation deductions for commercial and industrial buildings.

The NZ government is going to donate $12.1 billion to support the countries economy. It makes up a total of 4% of gross domestic product, the amount is bigger than during the 2008 crisis and than the UK, US, and Australia’s Covid-19 support packages.

In case a business can prove a 30% drop in its revenue during the current Covid-19 period it can get wage subsidies. Eligible businesses are going to receive $585.80 per week for full-time workers and $350 for those who work part-time. The support available is $150,000 per business and for 12 weeks.

The aviation sector will receive a relief package of $600 million, $2.8 billion are meant to support income, $2.1 billion is going to be given to reinstating depreciation and deductions for commercial and industrial buildings, another $500 million to boost health resourcing.

The Government is still working on how to help larger businesses and also addressing the banks to support the businesses during this hard time by including the form of loan guarantees for those who have temporary credit constraints.