“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,” Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said in a release. “There will be new challenges, new opportunities and a new way of working.”
The country has seen about 1,100 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths, according to the latest numbers. Although it had a late start in responding to the pandemic, the country has been aggressive in its lockdown.
Alert Level 4
The country has rolled out what it calls Alert Level 4 restrictions, and they aren’t taking them lightly.
Earlier this month, a 38-year-old Whanganui man received a month in prison. Police said they verbally warned the man five times about the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions.
“Remaining at Alert Level 4 for another seven days is an opportunity for us all to solidify the efforts of the last four weeks and, if necessary, Police will not hesitate to take enforcement action, either through warnings or arrests,” New Zealand Police said in a Monday statement.
“We urge all New Zealanders to keep up the good work by staying local, maintaining your bubbles and adhering to the restrictions around exercise and outdoor activities,” the agency added.
However, when it comes to tourism, the country may rethink its approach in the wake of COVID-19.
“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,” Davis said.
“Given international travel is likely to be heavily restricted for some time, and features of our tourism industry such as cruise ships are currently banned, this will need to be a phased approach, looking at how we can focus on and promote domestic tourism in the short term and how we can target an international offering,” Davis added.