NEW ZEALAND — New Zealand’s tourism sector is on the cusp of another surge of visitors to its famous carpet world.
With the world’s first major pandemic season looming, the country’s tourism industry is bracing for a boost in business this week.
The New Zealand Tourism Council has set a target of up to 1 million visitors visiting the country in March.
Tourism NZ’s chief executive Mark Williams says that’s about three times the previous peak of 1 million in May, when a devastating snowstorm hit the country.
Williams says the government is investing heavily in its new Snowfall Management Plan, which includes new snow management and mitigation measures.
It is also looking at more options for winter activities such as ice skating, snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
He says the plan is designed to encourage visitors to stay longer, and that the government’s focus is on building long-term economic growth.
New Zealand’s economy is forecast to grow by 1.4% in the first quarter of next year, and Williams says tourism is one of the sectors that will benefit from the climate change.
I think we’re going to see another year where tourism in New Zealand will be on the rise again, he says.