Inbounders welcome loans but alternatives needed

Inbounders welcome loans but alternatives needed

The Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ) says it is pleased that the Government has listened to the industry and will offer loans to 26 Inbound Tour Operators (ITOs) from the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection programme.

TECNZ chief executive Lynda Keene says the increase from the initial number of 10 ITOs, on better conditions than originally discussed, will allow those businesses to remain operational.

‘We see these loans as being an investment in the future of securing New Zealand’s $17 billion international tourism export savings when the New Zealand border reopens. However, it is likely not all inbound operators will take up the offer because they currently have no income coming in.

‘We will continue to advocate for ITOs to be offered grants or alternative funding mechanisms over the upcoming months to help them keep their businesses afloat. This will ensure inbound tourism operators are treated the same way as other parts
of the sector.’

She says a New Zealand tourism industry without ITOs would be at a huge disadvantage when borders reopen. ‘High value visitors rely on reputable companies with a long track record in the industry. Having the opportunity to keep some of these companies in business is a step forward. Now we need to work together to ensure New Zealand is ready to welcome visitors once again to support our broader economy.’

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