Tourism ready to contribute more to NZ economy

With the December 2022 quarter GDP results setting out a decline of 0.6%, there is real scope for tourism to play a very important role in moving to positive territory, Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Rebecca Ingram says.

 Pre-Covid (year to March 31, 2020) tourism directly contributed 5.6% of GDP and this fell to 3.0% through the Covid period (year to March 31, 2022) as the industry focused on domestic tourism alone.

Ingram says that now, with international visitors starting to return, “we are in a great position to recover the 2.6% of GDP that was lost in the Covid period. If we do this, the future national GDP position will be stronger”.

 “The focus now needs to be on removing the roadblocks to the recovery of our diverse tourism industry.”

 She says that while it is great to see international tourism recovering the tourism industry could be making a greater contribution “if pressure on workforce recovery was relieved. Anecdotally, we all hear about businesses that are curtailing their offerings as they simply don’t have enough staff”.

 “If we can boost the workforce available for our tourism businesses then these businesses will be able to offer more experiences and also extend their opening hours.”

 “A key first step is to remove the friction we see in the flow of skilled and valuable workers from overseas and, while this is happening to some degree, TIA wants to see this key constraint addressed so we can quickly realise gains for New Zealand as a whole,” Ingram says.

 

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