You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult was responding to Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis’ announcement yesterday, that he had tasked Tourism New Zealand with planning for the future post Covid-19.
The minister said it was a chance to “rethink the entire way we approach tourism”, and make New Zealand a more sustainable place and the sector “self-sustaining in the longer term”.
He said travel was likely “to be heavily restricted for some time” and cruise ships were banned at present.
Renewing the industry would require a phased approach, Mr Davis said.
“Looking at how we can focus on and promote domestic tourism in the short term and how we can target an international offering.”
Tourism New Zealand will work alongside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Department of Conservation and relevant stakeholders.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said it was an opportunity to work with communities to design a sector that benefited Kiwis.
“Something that genuinely gives back more than it takes from Aotearoa and plays a key role in our economic success.”
Mr Boult echoed the minister’s sentiments regarding a sustainable, more green offering in the future.
He said it was important not to “reinvent” the industry but make sure it was compatible with market demands for sustainability and cultural history — the latter being something the resort had not capitalised on enough in the past.
“The council’s plans around the development of an outstanding performing and visual arts centre will be pivotal in helping shape cultural tourism in the district for time to come.”
Mr Boult said New Zealanders “love coming” to Queenstown and suggested tourism operators could combine with restaurants, hoteliers and airlines to create enticing packages to increase domestic tourism.
The mayor further hoped good snow and support from Tourism New Zealand would bring North Islanders to the resort.
“I am pretty sure our borders aren’t going to be open by then [the ski season], so getting lots of North Islanders to come skiing will be a good thing.
“Air New Zealand will react to the market and if the market is there and people want to go skiing, I am sure they will put on the planes.”
When travel restrictions were eased, bringing Australians to the resort would be vital as they were Queenstown’s biggest international market, Mr Boult said.
Mr Davis also announced the international visitor conservation and tourism levy investment plan would be reviewed in light of Covid-19.