Hospitality NZ and Tourism Industry Association welcome new working holiday and VISA rules

The measures provide relief to businesses hit hard by the global worker shortage

Hospitality NZ and Tourism Industry Association welcome new working holiday and VISA rules

Access to Working Holiday Scheme VISAS has increased after the government announced changes to alleviate the strain on businesses scrambling to find staff. The temporary changes aim to supply kiwi businesses with 12,000 additional workers over the next year.

Chief Executive Julie White said even though the doubling of numbers under the Working Holiday Scheme and the extension of visas are temporary, they will make a big difference to hospitality businesses struggling without enough staff.

"These measures are about providing immediate relief to those businesses hardest hit by the global worker shortage," Immigration Minister Michael Wood said in a statement.

The changes come as economist Benje Patterson estimated that tourism and hospitality businesses lost out on $3 million in revenue in the month of June alone when they were forced to close their doors due to lack of staff.

“Having access to more staff will definitely help businesses open their doors for more days and for longer each day, and it will help improve the well-being of many owners and operators and their staff who have been working long shifts,” said White.

The news is also being welcomed by New Zealand’s tourism industry – "We are hopeful this will help to relieve some of the immediate pressures on employers," said Rebecca Ingram, Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Association (TIA).

TIA conducted a study of tourism businesses that found that 3 out of 4 tourism businesses are currently recruiting but 59% of those vacancies garnered less than five applications.

More to come.

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