Big downturn on NZ tourism tracks:
Popular spots at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park continue to experience a significant downturn in numbers, with one operator cutting his staffing numbers from 13 to four to cope.
The national park, which to the year-ending January 31, 2020, recorded more than one million visitors, has had to deal with the lack of international tourists, as Covid-19 continues to have a major impact on the tourism industry.
Department of Conservation figures released to Stuff show during September and October, 2020, , usage of the Hooker Valley track at Aoraki/Mt Cook National Park was down 52 per cent on the same period last year, Blue Lakes and Tasman Glacier down 47 per cent, and the SH80 road counter into Aoraki/Mt Cook village was down 40 per cent.
In August, DOC figures showed the dramatic impact of Covid-19 lockdowns and New Zealand’s closed borders to international tourists decimated the start of the new visitor recording season showing a 40 per cent fall in visitor numbers for the first 26 days after the country moved into alert level 2