Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced that the Government is increasing the number of working holiday places for Spain and also extending the time for some working holiday makers currently in New Zealand.
TIA Chief Executive Rebecca Ingram says: "This is a much-needed and positive step towards supporting tourism businesses with short term workforce shortages that cannot be met locally."
"It is no secret that many tourism operators are facing workforce shortages, so having a larger number of potential workers will certainly help as tourism restarts and as we prepare to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup later this year."
A healthy tourism industry benefits New Zealand. Pre-COVID (year to 31 March 2020) tourism directly contributed 5.6% of GDP and this fell to 3.0% through the COVID period (year to March 31 2022) as the industry focused on domestic tourism alone.
Now, with international visitors starting to return, the sector is in a great position to recover the 2.6% of GDP that was lost in the COVID period and a key factor in achieving this is reducing pressure on workforce recovery.