Tourism industry leaders have come together in a show of support for not only surviving Covid-19, but thriving after it.
Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall and Air New Zealand's Cam Wallace joined together today for a webinar to explain more about the work TNZ is leading to restart and reimagine the sector.
Describing it as a 'phoenix rising from the ashes' moment for the tourism industry, England-Hall said they were focused on coming back from the virus devastation as a better, stronger and more efficient organisation.
"We are all committed to this country and to this industry and we want to make sure that it's not just surviving but thriving," he said, while acknowledging the difficult roads that lie ahead for many within the tourism sector, describing it as a tight-knit industry.
Last week, the Tourism Minister announced the Government, industry and business were working together to develop a plan for how tourism will operate in a post-COVID-19 world.
"A post-COVID tourism industry will play an important role in New Zealand's economic recovery, but it will be different to the one that we are accustomed to. There will be new challenges, new opportunities and a new way of working," Davis said last Wednesday.
"We have an opportunity to rethink the entire way we approach tourism to ensure that it will make New Zealand a more sustainable place, enrich the lives of all our people and deliver a sector which is financially self-sustaining in the longer term."
Those sentiments have been echoed again today by the Minister, as well by TNZ and Air NZ.
Wallace described the situation as a "unique unpredictability in the tourism and aviation sector."
"These are incredible confronting and challenging times for everyone," he said. "But we do have a sense of confidence Air NZ will re-emerge from this crisis bigger and better."
Whether that was in three or six years, it was about making sure they had the right sized organisation and that they could continue to be a tourism business the industry was proud of, Wallace said.
"The worst thing that could happen is if we come back as a tourism industry the way we started."