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Mondayise holidays to boost tourism economy: TIA

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) is calling for cross-party support for Mondayising Waitangi Day and Anzac Day when they fall on weekends.

Creating long weekends will boost New Zealand's economy in relevant years by stimulating domestic tourism, TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden says.

The Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill is due to be debated in Parliament tomorrow (Wednesday 25 July).

TIA has contacted every party leader to ask for their support for the Bill. It would see Waitangi Day and Anzac Day continue to be marked on 6 February and 25 April respectively but would add a public holiday on Monday when either of the two days fell on a weekend.

The benefits of Mondayisation to domestic tourism were highlighted in TIA's Tourism Future Statement 2011-14 released last year.

"TIA developed the Tourism Future Statement, which set out the industry's priorities for government action, after talking with more than 700 tourism operators around the country. Most saw Mondayising Anzac Day and Waitangi Day as an important way to motivate Kiwis to travel more in their own country," Mr Snedden says.

"It would be a huge boost for domestic tourism which pours $36 million a day into communities around the country. Domestic visitors are the mainstay for many tourism operations. They contribute in excess of $13 billion to the tourism industry's total annual earnings of $23 billion as well as supporting thousands of jobs."

Mondayising Waitangi Day and Anzac Day when they fall on a weekend would add extra significance to the commemorations and allow family and friends more time together to remember these days, he says.

While it would create extra costs for some businesses, TIA believes they would be outweighed by the overall benefits to the economy, he says.

"Some employers would be disadvantaged but given this situation will only happen for two out of every seven years, the cost is likely to be reasonably minimal."

The bill's author, Labour MP David Clark, says: "Domestic tourism will be a big winner if my bill to Mondayise public holidays passes. It would be great to get the government's support for the bill and give a real boost to our tourism industry and ensure Kiwis get a well-earned break. This bill is affordable for businesses and a great win for our second biggest export earner."

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