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Government Response to Covid-19 and Gender Discrepancy: Tour Operator Perspective from New Zealand

By Marie Haley and Asif Hussain

Abstract: The New Zealand government closed the international borders for the first time in history to pursuit an elimination strategy to COVID-19. This has had a severe impact upon tour operators who have been excluded from a free and fair market, to protect the broader economic and public health systems. This paper argues that the government response needs a focus at the whanau and community level, with a targeted focus on women empowerment in the communities that are dependent upon international tourism. The government should pursue an approach of engagement with systems to facilitate community lead COVID-19 recovery. Thus, allowing the ability to maintain community cohesion, connection to place, economic stability and support sectors of the community that are hardest hit, such as tourism, Māori and women. Businesses should be engaged to work together, communities empowered to drive their recovery plans and individuals empowered to pursuit creative responses to entrepreneurial and retraining opportunities in situ.

Keywords: Government Response, Covid-19, Tour Operators, Regenerative Tourism, New Zealand.

Sustainability and Resilience Institute New Zealand

Sustainability and Resilience Institute (SRI) is a New Zealand based research institute, boutique consultancy firm and social enterprise which provides research, business development, product development, and digital marketing services to the public and private sectors. We employ consultants who are specialists in tourism planning, destination management planning, tourism strategies, destination development, infrastructure development, regenerative tourism, culinary tourism, indigenous studies, community conservation, heritage research, economic strategies, feasibility studies, business planning and feasibility, and digital marketing. Our work is always based on science and on this basis, we design strategies for your business. VISION:We strive to make communities and businesses sustainable and resilient, in the face of evolving global trends and shocks.