Tag Archives: tourist

Covid 19 coronavirus: Stuart Nash warns tourist numbers may not fully recover over the next 3-4 years | Instant News


A pontoon, once filled with people, is now submerged. Video / ABC

New Zealand Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has issued a heavy warning to tourism operators, saying it could be “at least another three to four years” before visitor numbers return to pre-coronavirus levels.

Nash made scathing comments during a whistle-stop visit to the struggling seaside resort town of Kaikoura South Island last week.

After announcing another $ 13 million- $ 18 million fund to help shore up the ailing tourist spots in Kaikoura, Mackenzie – Aoraki Mt Cook, Lake Queenstown, Fiordland and South Westland, Nash told the Herald they might face a lengthy battle.

“What the airlines are telling me is at least three to four years before we get the same level of air traffic to New Zealand,” he said.

His comments echo those of recent global experts including the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Qantas also believes its international network is unlikely to fully recover by 2024, even with digital “passport vaccines” being piloted around the world.

These problems have divided the global aviation community. Canadian airline WestJet recently laid off 400 pilots, while United Airlines announced last week it would re-hire about 300 pilots.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash made the comments during a visit to the struggling Kaikoura last week.  Photo / George Heard
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash made the comments during a visit to the struggling Kaikoura last week. Photo / George Heard

New Zealand’s aviation industry, along with tourism operators, who are waiting to see if a transtasman travel bubble will emerge, hopes Nash’s comments are closer to a “worst case scenario”.

But Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the airline industry group, Airline Representative Council (Barnz), also thinks global passenger numbers are unlikely to fully recover until around 2024-25.

New Zealand’s largest travel agency Aviation Center predicts demand will return to pre-Covid levels in late 2023 or early 2024.

“Outbound travel is a vital part of the tourism ecosystem and without it, Aotearoa will struggle to attract international air capacity, and anything else that brings New Zealand’s strong economy,” said Flight Center managing director David Coombes.

The New Zealand Air Line Pilots Association (NZALPA), however, argues that numbers should return sooner than 2024-25.

“That would be the worst horizon I would suggest, a very conservative horizon,” NZALPA president Andrew Ridling said of Nash’s comments.

The New Zealand Bed & Breakfast Association advises its members to work back to pre-Covid numbers in 2023.

If the 3-4 year timeframe is correct, it will “succeed or fail for some bed and breakfasts”, says association president Donna Brooke.

“We hope some will close and others go into hibernation for a period of time,” he said.

There is some optimism, however, with many B & Bs accepting reservations for the peak period January to March next year from international wholesalers and agents in the UK, Europe and the US.

“We accepted this order with the understanding that they could cancel very well,” said Brooke.

“Our advice to our members is to be flexible and fluid. The challenge in accepting these bookings is that it ‘needs space’ that domestic bookings can properly fill.”

Air New Zealand was unable to respond to the Herald’s approach on Sunday.

A New Zealand tourism business survey last month revealed that 53 percent of operators believe they will have to close within 12 months if the current situation does not improve.

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Western Australian horse tourism is booming as residents explore backyards on horseback | Instant News


When COVID-19 first hit Western Australia early last year, Linda Yates was terrified.

He closed his horse-riding business based on the Margaret River, sold some of his horses, and started thinking about lowering the scale.

The last thing Ms Andrea can hope for is to find herself struggling to keep up with demand once her business reopens.

“This is going crazy,” he said.

“Trying to keep up with all those people is crazy.

“Local business is great. Lessons taken, staff hours picked up … and it hasn’t really stopped since then.”

Linda Yates operates Outback Horse Trails in Collie, WA. (

ABC South West WA: Ellie Honeybone

)

Growth leads to expansion

Her business continued to thrive so much that Ms Yates decided to expand and open a second driving center, two hours north of the town of Collie.

“The trails here are beautiful, and I’ve always wanted to start a riding school in the interior as a small challenge,” he said.

“Tourism is not that hot here, I think, so it must be a challenge.

Three teenage girls sit on three brown horses in an arena.
Ashrani, Isla, and Aimee enjoy their weekly horse riding lessons at Collie. (

ABC South West WA: Ellie Honeybone

)

Ms. Yates’s business offers long-term lessons for children, which have increased from two to three days per week to five days of waiting-list classes.

“They booked long before the semester started, and during the holidays we were fine and completely booked,” he said.

“And that’s only for WA clients, whereas previously we served a lot of Singaporean and Chinese visitors.”

Staff who previously worked part-time on a side job have now been offered full hours and Ms Yates can’t see any signs of slowing down.

“They’re on the outside learning and appreciating it a little more after being trapped inside and unable to do anything – I guess it’s more valuable to them now.”

Never too old

It’s not just children who climb into the saddle.

Dorothy Addis is 84 years old and has been hitting the Collie bush trail with Ms. Yates every week for the past few months.

“It was very beautiful and peaceful,” said Addis.

“Sometimes you see a bunch of kangaroos jumping out and we are down the railroad tracks, and all kinds of things, and there are birds flying around.

“I like it very much.”

An old woman standing beside a black horse.
Dorothy Addis returned to the saddle at 84 and she loved it.(

ABC South West WA: Ellie Honeybone

)

Ms Addis learned to ride cycling when she was young but has recently found herself bored and looking for a challenge.

He decided to try horse riding again.

“I do a few little leg exercises every day that the physio gives me and I find it helps the strength in your legs. And I hope I will get stronger,” said Addis.

“Of course, at my age I might not … but just doing what I do is really good.

Explore our own backyard

Paul and Fiona Brennan also run a horse riding business in Margaret River, and specialize in two to five day trips, complete with glamping accommodation.

They also feared the worst when they had to rest for 13 weeks last year, but that quiet period didn’t last long.

An old man wearing an Acubra and a blue shirt is standing in front of a horse-drawn truck.
Paul Brennan said he has bought more horses to meet the demand for his horse tourism business.(

ABC South West WA: Ellie Honeybone

)

“During the first big rush, we really had to go out and buy more horses as the orders kept coming,” said Brennan.

“So now we have 60 horses, and a lot of times I think I might need more.”

There are still more than 20 tracks that Brennan will go through through December and nearly every trip is sold out.

“It seems like a lot is going on here and they go in and see things, like them, and come back.”

A drone shot of nine horses crossing the ocean.
Paul Brennan takes his horse explorers to shore for a swim after a long journey.(

ABC South West WA: Anthony Pancia

)

The Brennans’ serve riders of all abilities and take them through state farmlands and forests. They visit caves, local breweries and swim in the sea.

“It was sensational,” said Brennan.

“We ruined the lives of a lot of people like, you know, kids want to buy horses as soon as they see our horses and mom and dad have to go find another job.”

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PM Imran Khan will launch the Radius Al-Beruni tourism project in Jhelum today | Instant News


Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch Al-Beruni Radius, a tourism project in Jhelum. Photo source: PMO

ISLAMABAD: Aiming at reviving Pakistan’s heritage, Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch Al-Beruni Radius, a tourism project in Jhelum today.

The historic Nandana Fort is located at Tehsil Pind Dadan Khan in the Jhelum district.

According to the PM’s office, the prime minister is interested in preserving and conserving the site, aiming to turn it into an international tourism site.

The archaeological significance of this site dates back to the 11th century when the famous scholar Abu Rehan Al-Beruni during his stay calculated the circumference of the Earth.

Al-Beruni later wrote a famous book about the area and called Nandana a great center of learning.

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With no tourists to work for, Australian agriculture is labor short | Instant News


Not this year.

Australia is destroying the coronavirus with one of the world’s strictest border control regimes. But the success created problems for the nation’s farmers, who couldn’t find the labor they needed to pick and grow crops. Backpacking tourists, who typically make up 80% of the workforce harvesting fresh produce, have flocked since the pandemic began, without arriving to replace them. Seasonal workers from the Pacific islands are also largely on lockdown, even though many countries are considered to be free of Covid-19.

Quarantine of workers on farms has been tried, but it is far from what farmers need. Several Australians have accepted offers of government money to move to rural areas. Labor shortages hurt the economy: Farmers report falling profits, and some fear foreclosure. Many are now growing fewer crops, which can drive up food prices.

With increasing fatigue among the regular staff on the 190-acre Skybury farm and little prospect of extra help, Mr. Fagg and colleagues decided late last year to tear up older papaya plants and sacrifice about $ 100,000 in monthly income.

“Our production has fallen by at least a third,” said Mr. Fagg of the farm, which is located about three-quarters of a square mile near Mareeba, in the state of Queensland. It is difficult to build demand for papayas. “

Many countries rely on foreign labor to harvest crops but usually hire seasonal workers rather than tourists. The pandemic has also increased these flows, as workers from poorer parts of the European Union are unable to take agricultural jobs in wealthy countries like France when borders are closed.

With the US, UK and several other countries making progress in vaccinating their populations, hopes are rising that the economic impact of the pandemic will diminish. Australia aims to finish its Covid-19 vaccination campaign by the end of October, and its economy is emerging from its first recession in 29 years.

However, lawmakers have yet to set a date for reopening Australia’s borders, frustrating farmers who say they cannot plan a growth cycle over the past few months. Growing decisions can affect consumers across Asia, as Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of fruit, wheat and cotton.

The Fresh Products Alliance of Australia, an industry group, estimates a labor shortage could raise fruit and vegetable prices by up to 60% and reduce the value of the horticultural industry by nearly $ 5 billion. Labor intensive plants, such as berries, are the most at risk.

With a population of 25.7 million in an area the size of the US mainland, Australia has long been short on the agricultural workforce it needs.

Under the visa arrangement made about 15 years ago, backpackers can extend their stay from one year to two years if they agree to complete at least 88 days of work within Australia.

Around 40,000 backpackers are typically employed on Australian farms, roughly a third of those on a Working Holiday Maker visa. This arrangement is popular with visitors from Britain, France, Italy and several Asian countries.

However, the pandemic has shrunk this workforce to around 16,000, and continues to decline as backpackers fly home. In addition, only 2,400 seasonal workers from Pacific Island countries came from the more than 22,000 who were previously screened for visas last year.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud predicts a difficult season for farmers. “This is not a new problem; we knew in April that we would be short on labor, “he said.

Littleproud said Australia’s quarantine system was a major hurdle, as places were designated for residents and returnees. Quarantine arrangements are being made by state and territory leaders, who want to prevent a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus.

Several states have experimented with quarantine workers on farms. In October, 151 workers from Tonga flew on charter flights to Queensland to pick grapes. They wear high-visibility clothing and use color-coded equipment to separate them on the farm for 14 days when regularly tested for Covid-19.

Mark Furner, Queensland’s agriculture minister, said trials had been extended and more flights were planned.

Other initiatives include extending backpacker visas if they work on farms. The government has offered cash for Australians to move to rural areas, while students doing summer work in agriculture are eligible for grants. However, the receipts were small, and Australia’s economic recovery made the programs less attractive.

Bill Bulmer, chairman of Ausveg, which represents vegetable and potato farmers, says the sector is short of some 30,000 workers. On his own farm that produces iceberg lettuce, young spinach and other leafy greens in south-eastern Australia’s East Gippsland, crop losses have exceeded $ 600,000 due to labor shortages.

“For many crops, this has been an extraordinary year, and it is very sad for farmers to see it rot in trees or fall to the ground or plow into the soil,” said Richard Shannon, policy and advocacy manager at Growcom, Queensland’s top horticulture body.

A quarter of the 65 respondents on the Growcom crop loss list since December said labor shortages had affected their physical and mental health, including increased working hours, increased stress levels, loss of self-confidence and depression. Five farmers said they risked being seized by their bank or were considering selling.

Gavin Scurr, managing director of Piñata Farms, recently hired a new farm manager for a raspberry growing operation in Tasmania after a labor shortage contributed to the previous manager’s hospitalization under extreme stress.

Labor shortages left Pinata Farms unable to harvest 4 million strawberry punnets, the size of the containers where the fruit is often sold, at an operation in Queensland, costing the company an estimated $ 5.5 million in lost revenue. In addition, 300 tons of pineapples cannot be picked.

“We will be planting strawberries in the coming winter, but we don’t have enough manpower to build the strawberry infrastructure, let alone plant them,” said Mr Scurr, 52 and a third generation farmer. “Maybe next year, maybe longer.”

This story has been published from wire agent bait without modification to the text.

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Covid-19: Switzerland has seen a record decline in hotel stays | Instant News


(MENAFN – Swissinfo) The Swiss hotel sector recorded a 40% drop in overnight stays in 2020 compared to 2019. Foreign demand fell by 66% as tourists moved away due to the pandemic, the latest statistics show.

This content is published on 19 February 2021 – 12:21 19 February 2021 – 12:21 Swiss Tourism / Federal Statistical Office / SWI swissinfo.ch/ilj

“The extraordinary context of Covid-19 explains an unprecedented decline at levels not seen since the late 1950s,” the Swiss Federal Statistical Office said in a statement on the FridayExternal link.

Swiss demand fell less drastically (–8.6%) to 16.4 million overnight. Overall, the sector recorded 23.7 million overnight stays for 2020.

Swiss Tourism, the country’s national tourism organization, refers to 2020 as ‘Annus Horribilis’. “This year will remain in the minds of the tourism sector as the biggest challenge since the Second World War,” he said in an External links statement accompanying his press conference on the situation on Friday.

It said the industry had been experiencing months of business closures, very few European guests (6 million / -51%), and almost no foreign tourists. The number of staying Swiss residents – the summer months are especially popular in the mountains – cannot overcome this, he added.

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