Boom times in Queenstown !?
DownToEarth Kiwi reported earlier on the large government grants being poured into certain Queenstown businesses under the auspices of the"Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Program". The applicants to these grants no doubt argued that demand for their services was plummeting.
But is it? Yesterday it was reported that "Thousands of domestic visitors have hit Queenstown’s skifields during the past two weeks, with 'unheard' of numbers crowding some slopes at times. NZSki chief executive Paul Anderson said Coronet Peak and The Remarkables were seeing upwards of 7000 visitors a day during the school holidays, peaking last Friday at 10,000 – the busiest day he had seen in his seven years with the company. Last year during school holidays we had about 40 per cent Australians. We thought we would lose that. Kiwis have [replaced] the Australians.”
It appears that large numbers of Kiwis are substituting their overseas holidays for domestic holidays. Just goes to show how careful one has to be before spending millions of dollars in subsidies to businesses that could have otherwise been spent, for example, on more quarantine facilities to enable Kiwis to return to their homeland. What's the moral of the story? In times of crisis, one needs to prioritize spending.