Tourism industry suffered worst impact of Covid-19

By Bronson Perich

A tourism business owner says his industry has been hit the worst by Covid-19. Takurua Mutu co-founded Rotorua tourism operator MDA Experiences and says the ban on Aucklanders travelling outside the city has impacted the whole country.

When Rotorua went into alert level two, Mutu thought of his staff.

“I went and bought bottles of wine for all the management staff to drop off at their houses,” he says.

“We thought for sure we were all going into level three.”

Rebounding from Covid

Takurua Mutu talks tourism - Photo / File

But he was not phased by the shocking news, Mutu figured since Rotorua had survived alert level four his business could also survive level two.

However, he admits Auckland is his largest source of customers and says that anything that keeps Aucklanders from leaving will affect the whole country.

“We’ve done it before, we’ll just do it again,” he says.

“It (Auckland) is the biggest market for tourism, making up about one third for Rotorua as a whole.”

Mutu says MDA Experiences has taken the extended wage subsidy until September. If the current alert remains, he will apply for an extension of the current subsidy.

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