Stop the slow drip feed and come up with a plan

The Government must stop the slow drip feed of announcements for Tourism and establish a proper response plan to save jobs across the sector, National’s Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Today’s announcement of 26 loans to inbound tourism operators drip feeds more details of Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis’ announcement last month and, while it’s necessary, it goes nowhere near far enough to provide support to the tourism sector.

“The Government has delivered a patchwork response for an industry where 400,000 jobs were employed directly and indirectly by tourism.

“There are thousands and thousands of operators across every region of New Zealand who will be asking ‘is that it’ after the Government spends hundreds of millions of dollars, on fewer than 200 companies.

“This is a slap in the face given the Minister of Tourism received briefings that outlined the scale of the threat to the sector. Government estimates show 92,000 jobs could be lost this year alone and that was before the Government’s border mismanagement locked New Zealand’s biggest city down again.

“Whether it be the lack of process in announcing major funding grants to big businesses while leaving small operators in Queenstown and Waitomo with no support, or the bizarre attack on travel agents for not applying for a fund that they were ineligible to apply for, Kelvin Davis is yet to deliver a comprehensive plan to support tourism.

“National has a plan to deal with the economic and jobs crisis, to invest and grow our economy and to get Kiwis back to work.”