Peter Morrison is known as a guru of hospitality, or more formally as the President of Hospitality New Zealand – Canterbury, and senior member of the New Zealand Board. He is also World President of SKAL International, representing New Zealand’s tourism and hospitality sectors on the world stage and connecting tourism globally. Metropol caught up with Peter about how we can support our tourism and hospitality sectors moving forward.
How has lockdown been treating you Peter?
Yes, like everyone else it is very challenging in these such unprecedented times.
What are you most excited about post-lockdown?
To get my beloved hospitality and tourism industry back to being the number one export earner for New Zealand.
World tourism has taken a real beating and our Skal members world-wide are struggling.
Realistically this will take some time as we have been hurt the worst with social distancing, border closures and many more major issues putting big obstacles in our way.
You’ve long talked about the importance of community support for hospitality, what are some of the best ways we can look to support our tourism and hospitality businesses?
For hospitality venues – hotels, motels, backpackers, bars, restaurants and cafés – to survive, we are really going to need our local residents and domestic travellers to ‘come to the party’ and give us all the support they can possibly give.
This will apply to all retail shopping as well, not online!
What would you like to see coming through from Government level?
We are very appreciative of the Wage Subsidy that has been given; it is imperative that this is extended.
We are talking with Government to also give our industry priority.
We have been the worst industry affected and really been under siege.
In Australia the wage subsidy is for six months and small to medium businesses (SMBs) have been given between $20,000 and $100,000 to help with all the costs and overheads that still must be paid while businesses have been shut.
What advice would you give to businesses that are being hard hit during these challenges?
While we are aware how unprecedented this crisis is, we are together in sharing the immense challenge, change, sadness and uncertainty.
COVID-19 has been able to grip the world in a way we’ve not experienced before, but because of our connectedness, the tourism and hospitality industry’s strong ties are what will ensure that we will build our industry again – doing business amongst friends!