Queenstown mayor says they are in 'desperate need' of tourism

Author
Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Sep 2020, 11:54AM
Queenstown. (Photo / File)

Queenstown mayor says they are in 'desperate need' of tourism

Author
Newstalk ZB staff,
Publish Date
Mon, 14 Sep 2020, 11:54AM

Queenstown mayor Jim Boult is hopeful the area will drop to alert level 1 today and some social distancing measures are scrapped.

New Zealand will find out today whether the current alert level settings will change or remain the same.

There are no known community cases of Covid-19 in the South Island, and Mr Boult toldĀ Mike Hosking they have always been ready to move to level 1.

"In particular, we're pushing for social distancing on aircraft to be dropped. The reality is you get on a plane, every time you stand up to get off or getting on a plan you're close to other people.

"I just don't think we're achieving anything by it other than stopping people coming in and spending money in our town."

Mr Boult says businesses in the area are damaged, which is frustrating.

"Last week Queenstown airport corporation told me they were aware of 1500 people who were trying to get from Auckland to Queenstown, but couldn't get a chair on an air plane. That's 1500 people we desperately need at the present time," he adds.

Mr Boult says the decision for the Rugby Championship to go to Australia instead of New Zealand was "gutting", and says they had a well-thought out plan to make it work.