Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Backing tourism to succeed in a Covid world

“ACT has a plan to lift the restrictions holding back the tourism sector and give operators the tax relief they need after being hammered by Covid,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“I’ve travelled from Northland to Southland talking to tourism operators on ACT’s ‘Change Your Future Bus Tour.’ I’ve heard first-hand the struggles the sector is facing.

“The Government’s approach has been to pick winners with its Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme. While recipients are no doubt grateful for the money received, the effect of it is minor and seemingly concentrated on well recognised operators, simply so politicians can have their photos taken as they hand over a cheque.

“We can’t fix the tourism industry by picking winners. We need a consistent approach to support the entire industry.

“What the tourism industry needs is tourists, and certainty of getting them. The best thing the Government can do for the industry is to set clear rules of the game so that New Zealand can safely reconnect with the rest of the world.

“We should start by asking what can be done rather than imposing blanket restrictions on people entering the country. ACT’s approach reflects a change of attitude. We should allow practices that are safe and allow businesses to demonstrate that they can be safe, rather than imposing a Government monopoly.

“There are opportunities for high value tourism operators to bring in and isolate tourists for the required quarantine period before allowing them to travel more widely. There are many around today’s chaotic world who would take advantage of these opportunities if the Government was willing to work with operators to allow them to.

“Our polices around border management and tax relief will allow the tourism industry to get back on its feet. We need to think outside the box and ACT has the plan so we can do this sensibly and safely.”

Our policy can be found here.