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Thursday, 04 November 2021 08:55

Tourism reset could hurt agricultural exports

Written by  Staff Reporters
Agricultural exports could be hurt by the Government's decision to focus tourism visitor numbers on higher spending visitors. Agricultural exports could be hurt by the Government's decision to focus tourism visitor numbers on higher spending visitors.

The Government's proposal to reduce future international tourism visitor numbers post-Covid to concentrate on higher spending visitors may solve one problem but create others.

Research by Lincoln University has highlighted that most of our agricultural products delivered fresh to market are transported on passenger planes, and tourists contribute to the cost.

It says the drop in tourism numbers could push up transport costs to the point where some businesses do not export at all and are put out of business.

Before Covid-19 hit, there were 550 international flights into and out of New Zealand each week, which carried 80% of New Zealand’s overall export airfreight in their belly-holds, and that it was worth $10.8 billion in December 2019. Only 20% of New Zealand’s airfreight was carried by dedicated air cargo-only freighters.

Before Covid-19, air freight was less than 1% of New Zealand’s total trade by volume, but about 16% in terms of dollar value.

The report says the decision may show a lack of understanding of the inter-relatedness of industries.

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