The December 2022 quarter GDP results have indicated a decline of 0.6 percent, there is an opportunity for tourism to play a major role in ensuring the move to positive territory. Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Rebba Ingram says that it could be crucial.
“Now, with international visitors starting to return, we are in a great position to recover the 2.6% of GDP that was lost in the COVID period. If we do this, the future national GDP position will be stronger,” Rebecca Ingram said.
Pre-Covid tourism directly contributed a rate of 5.6 percent of GDP and dropped to a low three percent throughout the covid-19 pandemic. The industry was forced to focus on domestic tourism alone, creating a much more difficult circumstance.
While international tourism is recovering in a post-pandemic world, the tourism industry is said to have the potential to make a greater contribution if the pressure on workforce recovery is relieved. Ingram says that boosting the workforce offers a much larger breadth for tourism businesses in New Zealand to operate.
“A key first step is to remove the friction we see in the flow of skilled and valuable workers from overseas and, while this is happening to some degree, TIA wants to see this key constraint addressed so we can quickly realise gains for New Zealand as a whole,” Rebecca Ingram said.
In the wake of the GDP report, there are calls for the direction to be aimed at altering existing restrictions to fully utilise the assets of the tourism industry in New Zealand.
“The focus now needs to be on removing the roadblocks to the recovery of our diverse tourism industry.”
Tourism Industry Aotearoa is New Zealand’s peak industry body, which represents all sectors of New Zealand’s large and diverse tourism industry.