It’s the perfect place for photography. But for now, there are very few tourists.
“We’re usually calm in the winter,” says Betty Perkins, the owner of the million-dollar vessel, who has been touring Queenstown Lake for 13 years. “But not this quietly.”
It’s the left of Queenstown – usually one of New Zealand’s most famous tourist attractions – that struggles.
The Nevis swing basement in New Zealand is perhaps just the most extreme ride in the world, catapulting people nearly 500 feet in just seconds.
All this means that thousands are already out of work.
That has taken the city from one of the richest in New Zealand to one of the poorest, Boult says.
“People are worried, really worried about their job, the ability to provide for the family, the ability to pay mortgages and rents,” the mayor says, adding that some people who lost their jobs were close to retirement.
“At the end of the day, almost every job in the district depends on some version of tourism.”
Perkins is one of the lucky ones – she owns her own business, and they have little staff and little electricity, which means they didn’t have to fire anyone. Still, she estimates that her operating income has dropped by 70% compared to normal.
“We’re just going to have to fight, we’re going to wait for Australia to come,” she says.
Air New Zealand has unveiled its new prototype sleeping pad. The “Economy Skynest” will consist of six complete sleeping pads in the economy cabin.
The situation is similar for Dong Wang, who operates a small dumpling cart on the edge of the lake. He is the only earner he earns for his family, but his earnings have dropped from about $ 200 ($ 130) a day to just $ 50.
“There’s nothing I can do,” says Wang, who comes from China but is a permanent resident of New Zealand. “It’s so hard to find a job. I just keep going.”
A worker at a souvenir shop in Queenstown who arrived from China six months ago and who did not give her a name for fear of retaliation says she will soon be redundant. If he can’t find another job, he may have to return to China, she says.
Boult says: “The council provides vouchers for food, medical assistance, assistance with utility payments and even warm clothes, but believes the issue of unemployed migrant workers is a‘ humanitarian crisis in the making ’.
Over the past holiday weekend, companies reported booms as people from across the country descended the city.
But, says Boult, companies “won’t survive” only on domestic travelers. He hopes the trans-Tasman bubble will be launched by July for the ski season, where Australians make up 30-40% of customers.
“This is really a creation or a rupture,” he says, adding that if there is no mix for trans Tasman by July, more companies will fail and more jobs will be lost.
Boult believes Queenstown may not return to its pre-Covid tourist levels in terms of arrivals, and is already considering ways the city can diversify, including whether it can switch to the education, film and medical tourism sectors.
Simon Milne, a professor of tourism at Auckland University of Technology, says all predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. But he says Queenstown – a place where so many economies are based on tourism – will be hit harder than many other parts of New Zealand.
For those who can still visit Queenstown, the current situation is not all bad.
Canadians Anna Wilhelmus and Kristy Caldwell visited Queenstown on Friday. Their headquarters are in Christchurz where they are halfway through a year of study abroad, but they decided to go down to explore the area.
“It’s kind of nice to have it all to myself,” Caldwell says.
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