TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts.

Tourism Industry Aoteoroa CEO, Chris Roberts has advised the association’s members it is in full crisis mode  and liaising directly with the Government as it supports members and the wider hospitality industry through the impact of  COVID-19 .

“There is going to be a lot of pain across our industry. Tens of thousands of jobs are at risk and hundreds, if not thousands of tourism businesses are facing real threats to their survival,” says Roberts.

“The rules around self-isolation are unclear and need urgent clarification, especially for commercial accommodation providers. We are asking the Ministry of Health for an urgent update to their advice for hotels and hotel staff.

“We are now calling for a postponement of the minimum wage increase on April 1, unless this addressed in the Government’s business continuity package being announced tomorrow (Tuesday). This package must be substantial to ensure we can keep people in jobs and keep businesses afloat.

“I have also requested mental health support. This crisis is not just about finances – business owners and employees are under huge stress and need access to counselling and other mental health services.

“There has never been a shock as severe as this for the New Zealand tourism industry and we will take time time to recover once the border restrictions  and wide ranging travel restrictions to limit the spread of Covid-19 are lifted.

“However, tourism operators are a resilient bunch and we will come out the other side –so long as we stick together and keep supporting each other.”

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