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Brent Pihama, of Wanaka River Jets, predicted business was likely to be back to levels of 30 years ago.
"It is the hand that has been dealt us
... We’ve got to deal with it.
"We’ve got to get through to the other end.
"That’s going to be hard and it’s going to be long."
"There will be a light at the end of the tunnel."
Lakeland Adventures operations manager Michael Donald said his business was being "de-scaled" for the winter.
He, too, was holding out hope that there would be Australian visitors as soon as possible.
"For a lot of businesses around here, the majority of traffic does come from Australia. For us it is normally 80% of our traffic is Kiwis and Australians.
"So, it would make a huge difference."