By TRACEY ROXBURGH
Queenstown Chamber of Commerce boss Ruth Stokes says the results of the most recent
business confidence survey show ‘‘a tale of two towns’’.
A total of 228 responses were received in last month’s quarterly survey, the final for 2021, and of those, 105 were tourism-related.
Overall, about 45% of all businesses considered the economic situation in the Queenstown-Lakes will improve, with tourism-specific businesses slightly lower than that.
Just over 30% of all businesses considered the economic situation would deteriorate in the district — tourism-specific responses were just under that number.
Across the year, Stokes says in the second quarter, when the trans-Tasman bubble was in play, the tourism industry’s optimism about the local situation was higher than in total, ‘‘but that obviously reduced in the following quarters’’.
‘‘In quarter three, it just plunged.
‘‘It’s almost as if our tourism operators view the local world in complete contrast to everybody else.’’
Stokes says the chamber hasn’t pulled out the construction industry or professional services, but believes if that were to happen, the responses would be strikingly different.
‘‘They are having some of their best years, ever.
‘‘It is a tale of two towns.’’
Looking ahead, she says there’s some ‘‘real fear’’ around the removal of financial support, particularly for small businesses.
‘‘We’ve had a number of small businesses who thought they could hang on till January, but there’s no way they’re going to be able to hang on till the middle of the year.’’