Business Standard

Covid-19: A town in New Zealand adjusts to life without foreign tourists

Across the country as a whole, foreign visitors spent NZ$17.2 billion ($11.5 billion) in the 12 months to March 2019, accounting for 20% of the country's total exports


Iconic destinations from Kyoto to Amsterdam are addressing the new reality of fewer visitors and looking for ways to reset their local economies.

Tracy Withers | Bloomberg
In a normal year, international tourism is New Zealand’s biggest export — and with its majestic alpine scenery, adventure sports and vineyards, Queenstown is usually booming. 

But with the country’s border closed since March 19, there are fewer foreign accents to be heard in the resort town. Bars are shuttered, jet boats sit out of the river for half the week, and one of the area’s biggest ski fields is closed Monday to Friday. 

“It was like turning off the key in the ignition of a car, it just stopped,” Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult said. “The effect on local business,

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First Published: Sep 20 2020 | 7:18 AM IST

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