The smiles on the faces of tourism operators are getting ever broader as more tourists arrive.

According to international accountants BDO’s biannual ‘‘wellbeing and business performance index’’, a survey of 504 Kiwi business leaders and owners in March showed tourism business leaders scored 66 out of 100 on the World Health Organisation’s wellbeing index — an increase of four points from October, 2022.

The survey shows 57% of tourism leaders felt positive about their business performance ‘‘all or most of the time’’ over the past six months and 70% of business leaders now expect that same feeling ‘‘most of the time’’, an increase of 10% from the previous survey.

BDO notes there’s been a rapid international visitor rebound, from 5235 overseas visitors in February, 2022, to 359,855 last December.

On the down side, while lower-skilled positions are being filled with the return of the backpacker market, there are still shortages of skilled
workers and BDO warns against burnout as visitor numbers continue to ‘‘ramp up’’.

And businesses are more in debt, with BDO warning against possible future risks, ‘‘particularly with unrest overseas, for example in China and Russia’’.

BDO’s Southern Lakes and Central Otago managing partner Richie O’Meara tells Mountain Scene Covid led to many ‘‘difficult’’ conversations with clients.

‘‘I’ve never had so many phonecalls as on the first day of the first lockdown with people just stressed out to the max — ‘what am I going to do, how am I going to pay the bills, how am I going to feed my family?’

‘‘It was pretty confronting.

‘‘And now it’s just miles apart, and much more positive.’’

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