Anticipation is high that visitor arrivals into Auckland will return to high levels quickly.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa has outlined a list of priorities it would like to see addressed and actioned by the incoming New Zealand government following the upcoming national election, due to take place on September 19.

TIA Chief Executive, Chris Roberts, said any change in government must retain the existing focus on working with the private sector to revitalise the tourism sector, which he said was the first to be hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be the last to recover.

Priorities outlined in the ‘Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan’ include ensuring the survival and recovery of tourism businesses impacted by the closed border; easing travel restrictions when safe to do so; continuing to drive domestic tourism demand; supporting innovation and sustainability initiatives and ensuring government understands its role in getting the industry back on its feet.

All major parties contesting the election will receive a copy of the plan, which features a total of 37 specific actions across six categories – Vision, Partnership, Regions, Natural Resources, Knowledge and People.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa CEO, Chris Roberts.

Roberts said he was also mobilising smaller, regional tourism associations around the country to highlight the importance of tourism to their local candidates.

“This is an opportunity to make bold changes to fix longstanding systemic issues that have compromised our desire to build a truly sustainable tourism future.

“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to rebuild our tourism industry to ensure it provides real benefits to the communities where it operates and protects the natural resources that our visitors travel here to enjoy.”

Incumbent Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is leading the polls and is expected to be returned to office but must first fend off National Party leader, Judith Collins.

CLICK HERE To read the TIA Tourism Action Plan.