Hospitality, tourism and events businesses in NZ suffering from sudden increase in alert levels

 Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Hospitality, tourism and events businesses are suffering from the sudden increase in alert levels and the economic ripples spreading across New Zealand.

Although Auckland will bear the brunt of its shift to Alert Level 3, the impact is spreading much beyond its boundaries with residents calling off their travel plans.

Several conferences, including one on crisis readiness, have been postponed along with a major trade show that was due to open in Auckland on Monday morning with an attendance of around 6000 people.

The Art Deco Festival in Napier has also canceled its opening day events on Wednesday and Queenstown tourism operators are tackling cancelations from Aucklanders who are incapable to travel.

Restaurant Association chief executive CEO Marisa Bidois said that the announcement of a return to levels 2 and 3 is a major impact for an industry which is already struggling to recover from the impact of border closures, and thus, the change in alert levels is “incredibly difficult” to manage.

Bidois said, “Many businesses will have stocked up on food for the days ahead and will now incur wastage costs on top of significantly reduced revenues.”

Good Group chief executive Russell Gray said that the lock down is a huge blow for the company’s 14 restaurants and bars in Auckland and Queenstown.

Gray, who is also a Hospitality NZ board member, is urging the government to immediately re-introduce a wage subsidy to support hospitality and tourism businesses that are badly hit by the latest closure.

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