Reopening to the World

The coming months will see the welcome return of international tourists.

Before Covid, tourism was New Zealand’s largest export earner, employing more than 300,000 people nationwide and worth over $16 billion to our economy.

The impact of the closed borders on Selwyn’s tourism sector has been significant. From ski fields, to wineries, to travel agents, to accommodation providers, many of our tourism operators have been struggling to stay afloat the past two years. The reopening of our borders is desperately needed and, with any luck, our friends across the ditch will use their upcoming school holidays to come to Canterbury in time for the ski season.

New Zealand also needs to pull out all the stops to make this country an attractive destination for working holiday-makers, given our massive labour shortages. Global competition for these workers is intense. Australia is spending millions on aggressive marketing to attract these workers to their shores, while also offering a raft of other incentives like a visa application fee refund, unrestricted work rights and supplementary visas.

If more isn’t urgently done here to attract these workers, our tourism and hospitality businesses will continue to struggle, fruit won’t get picked, grapes won’t get harvested and shelves won’t get stacked.