Report: Confidence on NZ Tourism Remains High Despite Challenges

Employees workingBusiness confidence in New Zealand’s tourism industry remains high despite challenges such as labour shortage and insufficient infrastructure, according to a Wellington Institute of Technology survey.

Jamie Smiler conducted the poll based on responses from 354 tourism operators. Most of them expect better performance over the next year, although 82 per cent also agreed that a shortage of workers is a concern.

Industry challenges

The lack of full-time positions partly causes the inadequate number of tourism employees. Several companies believe that hiring migrant workers will be a key solution to the problem. The government has worked to ease some restrictions for employing foreign individuals. Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts has discussed this with the Minister of Immigration.

He expects the meeting to produce favourable results in the form of regulatory changes, which would consider a need for short-term employment among migrants. A solution to a labour shortage should be resolved soon to accommodate tourist arrivals, after reaching a record figure in December 2017.

More tourist arrivals

Statistics New Zealand said that 3.73 million foreigners travelled to New Zealand in December, up 6.7 percent year over year. More than half of them spent time in the country for a vacation, while 30 per cent paid a visit to family and friends.

An increase in tourist arrivals bodes well for tourism and hospitality businesses, including hotels. In turn, the influx of visitors simply means that board and lodging supplies should be well stocked. Businesses that sell tissue paper wholesale, for instance, and other supplies also benefit from more tourists since spending from them causes hospitality operators to make sure their facilities are properly maintained upon their arrival.

The government should help the tourism industry in solving the current challenges, as many enterprises rely on the sector to keep their business afloat.