Wednesday, 17th March, 2021

Dear Member

This week we are looking forward to (an albeit brief) visit from the Hon Stuart Nash on Friday, who I had the opportunity to speak with at the beginning of the week.

We have been engaging constructively and directly with senior Government officials outlining our proposals for a path forward, and I appreciated the time the Minister gave to work through these with me.  Some of you may have heard me speak to these over the past few weeks.

Our messages have been very clear.  Some of our community is doing it very tough, they have made major sacrifices to hold on their staff, and in many cases their livelihoods.  After a year, reserves are gone and the lack of certainty on the horizon for international travel means businesses are hamstrung in being able to plan to close, hibernate or hang on.

I can assure you, that visibility and appreciation of our plight is not the challenge.

What is the challenge, is getting official buy-in to the significant ways in which, we know, the government can help us move forward.  These are:
  • Government investment to leverage private investment in diversification 
  • Changing immigration settings to support employment across all sectors and enable greater international investment.
  • Changing lending policy settings to enable private local investment in tourism, hospitality & accommodation sectors.
  • Providing targeted support to be administered locally.
It's getting these forward-focused messages out there and support for them that is our priority.

In response, we have received positive signals from the Minister that our proposals are consistent with the direction they are heading. 

This Friday, at the Otago Tourism Policy School Summit, we expect that the Minister in his key note address will outline, at a high-level, his path forward, with further announcements to come this month.

We have also been working on local initiatives to support businesses that we are looking forward to being able to share with you shortly also.

We appreciate that our efforts may not always be visible, unlike our events, and the wheels of government don't always move as quickly as we would like.  However I always remember the immortal words of Nick Smith - one man's bureaucracy is another man's democracy. 

And we are working hard within that environment to demonstrate that we don't just complain, but that we are willing, constructive partners ready to move forward with government.

Take care



#WeAreQueenstown Ambassador Training

We are proud to be partnering with Destination Queenstown and Queenstown Resort College, who are rolling out a new training programme for frontline staff and those welcoming visitors across all sectors in Queenstown.

The #WeAreQueenstown Ambassador training will be a free two-hour course delivered by the Queenstown Resort College and fully subsidised by Destination Queenstown via the Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme funding. 

The course has been designed for people that work in frontline hospitality, retail and tourism but anyone that has interaction with visitors, from any industry, is welcome. The course is designed to build pride of place in Queenstown, hone customer service skills and prepare and polish our welcome, at a time when Queenstown is quiet. The course will cover:

  • Understanding visitor expectations and how we can meet them
  • The art of Kia Ora/hello
  • Learning about domestic visitors and dealing with New Zealand customers
  • Understanding Australian visitor expectations
  • Knowing and understanding the stories of Queenstown and being able to share them
  • Being proud of why we choose to live here and what we love about Queenstown
  • Understanding that our people are our product and what draws people here
  • Celebrating our pioneering spirit and resilience and sharing our adventurous spirit with our visitors
The course will run twice a day, three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and will take two hours. People can book directly via QRC website HERE.

The welcome from frontline staff is so important to a visitor’s experience and to destination reputation.  As New Zealand’s premier visitor destination its vital we continue to invest in creating a warm welcome for our guests and continuing the proud legacy of the pioneering spirit that has been built over the years in Queenstown.

The #WeAreQueenstown Ambassador course will run for a limited timing, commencing on 29 March. Book now to secure a spot for yourself or your team.
Real Journeys Locals Specials

Make the most of the Real Journeys Locals’ Specials and receive up to 50% off some of your favourite experiences for the month of March.

Click HERE for more information on locals 

Only available for travel in Covid Alert Level 1. Terms & Conditions apply.

QLDC Website - Wellbeing Support
QLDC's website provides a useful summary of the community wellbeing resources available.

Click HERE to see what is currently available.