The Budget delivered a $400 million targeted tourism recovery fund, an eight-week extension of the wage subsidy among other measures for one of the sectors hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. More support is likely to follow.
Here's how some sector groups rated the budget.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa: PASS - but it's just a start

"The Government has recognised the critical importance of the tourism industry to New Zealand's future. Tourism was the first industry to be hit by Covid-19 and will be the last to recover," TIA chief executive Chris Roberts says.

"The Budget package will not be enough to prevent significant job losses across the industry. In terms of immediate survival, the measures announced today are welcome but further initiatives will be required in the months and years ahead."

An extension to the wage subsidy had been top of the request list for many tourism businesses. "Almost all will be able to meet the new qualification of showing at least a 50 per cent drop in revenue, but some will be disappointed it is only for an additional eight weeks."


A Tourism Recovery Ministers Group is an important signal that the Government takes the survival of tourism seriously, Roberts says.

NZ Hotel Owners Association executive director Amy Robens. Photo / Supplied.
NZ Hotel Owners Association executive director Amy Robens. Photo / Supplied.

NZ Hotel Owners Association: FAIL - ''industry breaking''

Executive director Amy Robens says the Budget was "industry-breaking" for the hotel sector and fell well short of the financial relief that's so desperately needed.

The tourism recovery package needed to be tailored and targeted to assist hotel owners who, like airlines, are the backbone of the tourism industry, she says.

The eight-week extension to the wage subsidy at the current levels would do little to curb staff redundancies as hotels simply do not have the revenue to continue to top up salaries.

''When the eight-week extension period expires, there will be another wave of redundancies. We were seeking a six-month targeted wage subsidy extension in both the thresholds for eligibility and the actual dollar figure of the subsidy.''

The association was also seeking redundancy finance to offset the significant costs hotel owners face.

''The domestic market will not provide the critical mass that's needed to get hotels back on their feet, and we remain in serious survival mode.''

Tourism Export Council: FAIL - ''a sad day''

"The Government has failed the international tourism sector and appears to have given up on an industry that has produced so much for the New Zealand economy,'' says council chief executive Lynda Keene.


The recovery package does not help tourism businesses that needed a cashflow injection to help with commercial rents, leases and operating costs.

"We asked for this and Government has not delivered.

"The tourism transition programme to help businesses pivot to the domestic market seems strange. We don't know what detail is behind that, what the criteria is, who can apply or when they can apply.

"Domestic tourism will not save the economy compounded by thousands of New Zealanders being made redundant. It is not going to generate economic activity that Government expects.
''It seems like the big winners of the tourism recovery package are consultants and the losers are businesses like inbound tour operators and those that pre-Covid had more than 80 per cent international visitors. We have been let down by Government,'' says Keene.

Bus and Coach Association: FAIL

The Bus and Coach Association says the Budget was too light on detail and dollars when it came supporting small tourism operators, tourism coach builders and rental car companies.

''Tourism has been a massive contributor to our economy for many years and to only give it $400 million seems miserable," association chief executive officer Pim Borren says.


"That will be swallowed up in no time, and not by the smaller operators either.

"Around 200 smaller operators whose whole business has been geared to international travellers, would not refocus on domestic tourists.
"Kiwis travelling around New Zealand aren't going to get on tourist coaches, so what happens to those businesses?"
Borren said the wage subsidy extension was welcome, "but again it's not enough to keep afloat our members who operate in the tourism sector".

Domestic flights resume at Queenstown Airport as New Zealand moved to level 2. Photo / James Allan
Domestic flights resume at Queenstown Airport as New Zealand moved to level 2. Photo / James Allan

NZ Airports, Barnz: PASS

''Very pleased to see the extension of the wage subsidy. Airports won't have any problem qualifying at the 50 per cent reduction in revenue threshold, as all have lost probably more than 95 per cent of aeronautical revenue in the aviation downturn,'' says NZ Airports chief executive Kevin Ward.

However it would monitor members closely, as this is a short-term measure and it will take two or more years for their revenue position to recover to anything like pre-Covid normal.

''The infrastructure and skilled staff costs will continue regardless of the assets being lightly used. A case for special-purpose funding for airports is still under consideration,'' says Ward.

Both these measures would be important building blocks for re-establishing transtasman travel at an early date.


The Board of Airline Representatives also gives the Budget the tick but warns more support will be needed.

''Today's extension of the wage subsidy will go some way towards helping airlines and ground handlers keep staff. Further support will be required to ensure that airlines are resourced for when the border reopens to Australia, the Pacific and beyond," said chief executive Justin Tighe-Umbers.

AJ Hackett Bungy: PASS

New Zealand managing director and co-founder Henry van Asch says it was good to see tourism acknowledged as part of today's Budget announcements.

"The Tourism Recovery Fund will be a welcome boost for our hard-hit tourism sector and we're looking forward to understanding how this will be allocated and what it will mean for Bungy and Queenstown in general."

The extension to the wage subsidy scheme is also a positive.

"The eight-week extension gives us some breathing space while we work through what the full impact of Covid-19 will be on our Bungy business."

The domestic tourism campaign will be useful in stimulating the much-needed New Zealand market, he says.

"We're really enthusiastic about New Zealanders getting to know their country and each other as they celebrate the end of a tough lockdown period. And we're looking forward to helping them face their fears with one of our life changing experiences."

Henry van Asch, co-founder of AJ Hackett Bungy. Photo / Supplied
Henry van Asch, co-founder of AJ Hackett Bungy. Photo / Supplied

Travel Agents Association of NZ: FAIL

It falls a mile short of what travel agents needed, says chief executive Andrew Olsen.

Eight weeks' wage subsidy extension was not enough and the Government had overlooked the sector entirely.

''A real opportunity to target it and get it on its feet for the domestic tourism recovery and border re-opening has been lost,'' he said.

''Not one response to our submissions was made by this Government.''

Agents were trying to recover more than $2b of New Zealand travellers' funds currently offshore.

''As businesses hibernate or, worse, fail, who will help customers recover their funds and manage their credits?''

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