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Wednesday Letter: An industry tipped upside down

1 Apr 2020  By Paul Yandall | | @tourismticker

The Ticker’s Paul Yandall on why there’s hope in the recent past for New Zealand tourism.

Paul Yandall

How does New Zealand tourism come back from such a devastating blow?

Thousands of jobs will be lost and hundreds of businesses will probably disappear before the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic takes hold.

In the meantime, those that have the means to see the crisis through are stuck in stasis, scouring news and data for any sign of the outbreak abating.

I fear it may be a long time before the industry reaches pre-Covid-19 levels while conceding that it’s pointless trying to put a timescale on it at this stage – one year? Three? Five? Who knows?

But what I do know is that the industry is full of resilient and smart people, businesses and organisations, making extremely difficult decisions today to ensure they survive and then thrive on the turnaround.

There is no shortage in tourism of leaders, senior managers and staff in both business and government who have had to deal with other downturns – albeit nothing on this scale or sharpness – and it will take all of their experience and resourcefulness to rebuild.

With that in mind, we have launched a new series, Leading through Crisis, so we can hear from those very people during the difficult days ahead.

And who better to start with than Hassle-free’s Mark and Nikki Gilbert, who rebuilt their business from the rubble of Christchurch’s 2011 earthquake to become even bigger and better.

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t quick but they did it and they tell us they will do it again. It’s an inspiring story full of tips that could help other operators prepare for the months ahead.

As well as our leading industry news, we’ll also connect with the tourism professionals in the Lowdown on the Lockdown addressing the challenges and opportunities they face in their new working environment.

As for Tourism Ticker? Well, we’ll not only be here every day chronicling the impact the pandemic has had on the industry but we’ll also be bringing you the stories and views and plans of the people and organisations preparing for better days.

And, of course, we’ll be there to mark those better days too, to track the rebirth of an industry we know will become even bigger and better – just like Hassle-free Tours did.

You’ve noticed that we’ve put much of our content in front of our paywall at the moment. We believe that during the lockdown it’s important to keep the flow of information as open as possible but we can’t do it for all of our content and we won’t be able to do it for long.

For now, we’re happy to play a small part in sharing information that could help to keep people informed – and amused – during these difficult days.

He waka eke noa


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