Tourism workers pick new opportunities

Queenstown tourism workers facing tough times because of Covid-19 appear to be pursuing new opportunities in viticulture.

Otago organisations involved in employing grape pickers reported yesterday a surge in the number of inquiries from Queenstown.

They put it down to a drop in the number of hospitality jobs there.

Central Otago Winegrowers president Nick Paulin said yesterday there seemed to be more people searching for picking work.

"I suspect due to the downturn in tourism and hospitality."

And, Seasonal Solutions chief executive Helen Asby, in Alexandra, supported that theory.

"We’re certainly getting calls from people who are losing work in Queenstown.

"It’s early days yet and a bit difficult to really quantify.

"But overall, I think there are going to be significant moves to find alternative employment in the district.

"And with the grape harvest coming up, that’s going to be of particular interest, at least as a short-term opportunity."

The viticulture industry employs hundreds of people during the picking season including groups from the Pacific Islands, local New Zealanders and backpackers.

Mr Paulin said grapes for sparkling wine were being picked now and the main crop would start to come in over the next month or so, with the season ending in late April or early May, depending on the weather.

 

Add a Comment

Local journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Otago Daily Times reporters and photographers continue to bring you the stories that matter. For more than 158 years our journalists have provided readers with local news you can trust. This is more important now than ever.

As advertising drops off during the pandemic, support from our readers is crucial. You can help us continue to bring you news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter