Bus And Coach Association On Budget 2020: Too Light In Detail. Too Light On Dollars.
That’s the Bus and Coach Association’s take on Budget 2020 when it comes to supporting small tourism operators, tourism coach builders and rental car companies.
“Tourism has been a massive contributor to our economy for many years and to only give it $400 million seems miserable” association chief executive officer Dr Pim Borren said. “How can the racing industry get $73m and the whole tourism industry sector only $400m”.
“That will be swallowed up in no time, and not by the smaller operators either.
“And to expect these smaller operators, around 200 of them, whose whole business has been geared to international travellers, to refocus on domestic tourists – well that’s just not going to happen.
“Kiwis travelling around New Zealand aren’t going to get on tourist coaches, so what happens to those businesses?”
Dr Borren said the wage subsidy extension was welcome, “but again it’s not enough to keep afloat our members who operator in the tourism sector.”
He said it is also unlikely tour coaches could be considered as strategic assets within the Strategic Tourism Asset Protection Plan and in further infrastructure spending, but there’s not enough detail yet to make a judgement on that.
“So, all in all, a bit disappointing, really.”
For the chief executive of Global Bus Ventures Tim Duncan the Budget was ‘uninspiring’.
“Nothing in it for us,” he said.
Duncan’s company manufactures buses and coaches and with the demise of international tourism, he doesn’t see much demand for new vehicles
Nor has his company had any support for the two new initiatives he has put to government to stimulate the coach manufacturing sector.
“In line with this government’s focus on the environment and low carbon public transport, we suggested a stimulus package to underpin the manufacture of low emission buses and coaches. No response.
“We also suggested that we be funded to borrow staff from companies that are not fully utilising them at the moment, and cross-train them with new skills so they can stay employed. Again, no response.
“We have got pretty much zero support from this Budget, and from all the other Covid-19 measures this government has implemented.”