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Bubble bursts for tourism in the Bay – but it will rise again

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Tourism was the first casualty of COVID-19 with no international tourists flying in, nor any NZers able to travel outside of the region during full lockdown. This was a major hit for many of Hawke’s Bay’s tourism operators as well as the hospitality sector.

Tourism is a major economic earner for the region, to the sum of $690 million and for sometime Hawke’s Bay like many other regions will now be relying on domestic tourism. We will also be hotly competing to lure the likes of Aucklanders and Wellingtonians to the Bay and up against the likes of Rotorua, Queenstown and Nelson. So what do we have planned? The Profit has put some questions to Hamish Saxton, the general manager of HB Tourism.

Tourism has been one of the first sectors to feel the impact of COVID-19. What was the initial response from local tourism operators?
We’re a resilient and positive bunch – but it’s hard when you remove our customers completely. But it’s not just our tourism operators – when you remove the visitor economy from the entire local economy, we all feel it. We lose the vibe and the energy of visitors enjoying the place that we love to show off. When you have no-one to show off to, it’s an extremely lonely existence!

 

First published by The Profit – read the full article here.