Labour focuses on freedom campaign while tourism businesses close

The Government’s priority should be saving tourism businesses struggling to pay their bills and survive the coming months, rather than passing regulation on campervans that actually aren’t here right now, National’s Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay says. 

“After almost two years of Labour’s Covid-19 restrictions, there still aren’t any international tourists in New Zealand,” Mr McClay says.

“Last week Stuart Nash told a Tourism Industry Association Zoom that he didn’t expect international visitors to return to New Zealand until the summer of 2023 because of the Government’s self-isolation rules.

“Stuart Nash needs to get his priorities straight. There aren’t any international freedom campers in New Zealand right now, but there are countless tourism businesses around the country struggling to survive.

“Businesses dependant on tourism, including those in hospitality, events and accommodation, are at risk of missing out on international tourists for all of 2022. Kiwi businesses will have no choice but to close for good if they are left to face three years without vital visitor dollars.

“Mr Nash should be spending his time advocating for the tourism businesses he is supposed to be supporting – they deserve a voice at the Cabinet table.

“The Tourism Minister is out of touch with what matters to Kiwi businesses. If he doesn’t act to keep businesses afloat, there won’t be a tourism industry left when international visitors finally return.”