New Zealand wants Kiwis to spend more on domestic tourism

The Lindis Ahuriri Valley New aealand

While tourism businesses have called for more government help, Tourism New Zealand is counting on Kiwis spending more on their domestic travels to help the sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

New research commissioned by the tourism board found that cost was one of a number of potential barriers to travel, with more than a quarter (28%) of survey respondents saying they believe holidays in New Zealand are too expensive and lack value for money, according to a report by Stuff.

“When people travel overseas they tend to spend more because they try new things,” Tourism New Zealand general manager domestic, Bjoern Spreitzer, said. “We want Kiwis to adopt this mindset to travel in New Zealand and experience our country like they would when they are overseas.”

Last week, Tourism Industry Association (TIA) chief executive Chris Roberts warned of “thousands more job losses and hundreds of business closures” if the Government does not lend further support to the sector, says the Stuff report.

“We know that many tourism businesses have gone into hibernation and some have closed since our previous survey in April,” he said.

With New Zealand’s borders closed to international visitors, Roberts said the biggest challenge for tourism operators “is the lumpy nature of domestic demand, which tends to be at weekends and holidays.

“More than a third of tourism businesses say they are also facing difficulty in developing the right product at the right price for the domestic market”, he said.

Tourism New Zealand aims to stimulate demand by “showcasing a range of experiences in our work that cater to all types of traveller segments and budgets”.

The market, meanwhile, “is addressing this sentiment with operators offering a range of fantastic deals.

While the domestic tourism sector experienced something of a boom over post-lockdown long weekends and during the July school holidays, many remain fearful of their long-term survival, adds the report by Stuff.

Almost three quarters of respondents to the survey of 408 businesses in July said they want further Government help with wages, with a third warning of more lay-offs if they don’t get it.