Coronavirus: Impact on tourism industry

coronavirus 20/03/2020

Magic Talk Mornings host Peter Williams spoke to Steve Chadwick, Mayor of Rotorua regarding how the latest travel restrictions due to Covid-19 will impact the tourism industry.

Chadwick has recently returned to New Zealand from Australia, and despite arriving before the restrictions, explains she is currently in self isolation as “it’s the right thing to do.”

Peter asks her what the travel restrictions will mean for the Rotorua tourist industry.

“It’s evolving very fast… with the border closure last night, this is going to completely cut off the bloodline to a lot of our major tourist attractions”

They’re all [businesses] going to be impacted on

Peter wonders what assistance the Government can provide, with Chadwick acknowledging that their economic assistance package was well received.

Chadwick goes on to detail  “our economic development agency is going to coordinate requests with business leaders, and with ministry social development, whether you're a hotel or a motel.”

The health of our people matter the most.

When speaking about the community, Chadwick explains “we’re all being very wise about the impact on public health, we've got no community transmission yet.”

The mayor states Rotorua are all sharing ideas about their forestry and hospital workers, and working with the regional council for pest control.

“This community is really resilient and we work together”

We’ve all got to be part of the solution to carry us through this

Chadwick shares with Peter their motto is tatou tahi, or ‘we together’ as they do things in partnership with others.

Peter goes on to ask whether Rotorua has a testing clinic for Covid-19, Chadwick explains the DHB is setting one up, with more testing.

With the travel restrictions heavily affecting the tourism industry such as resorts and tourist attractions, Chadwick admits locals in the industry are:

23% of our workforce, 1 in 4 people

Chadwick says the next step is to understand how long this may go on for and how to cusion the blow, during this “very surreal time.”

Listen to the interview above.