The post-Covid Budget delivered some big numbers in offering support to help the economy recover from lockdown, but its effect still depends on how industry responds to government funded support. Much of the assistance seems aimed at restoring activity to its former levels, rather than pivoting away from activities that, even before Covid-19 appeared, were beginning to show signs of unsustainability.
One such activity was tourism, which was raising concerns in some places about excessive use, congestion and environmental degradation. With borders closed for the foreseeable future New Zealand tourism is facing a loss of substantial business. But just how large is the hole in the industry’s fortunes, what can it be plugged with in the short term, and how can the industry reposition itself over the long term for a more sustainable future?