Tourism industry keen on Mondayisation
The tourism industry has welcomed the likelihood of Kiwis getting more long weekends, after the passing of a bill in Parliament.
A Canterbury business leader said there were some concerns about the "Monday-ising" of Anzac and Waitangi days when they fall on a weekend, but that the business community did not strongly oppose the move.
The Parliamentary bill moving Anzac Day and Waitangi Day to a Monday when they fall at the weekend passed a crucial hurdle by just one vote yesterday.
While not yet passed into law, the vote of 61 votes to 60 suggests the bill should get the support its needs to make it through the final hurdles. The bill was sponsored by Labour.
The Tourism Industry Association, which represents tourism business owners, said providing a holiday on Monday when Waitangi Day and Anzac Day fall on a weekend would boost domestic tourism as more Kiwis took the opportunity to get away for a long weekend.
"Giving New Zealanders a holiday on Monday when these days fall on a weekend will create real economic benefits across many sectors and is something we have been lobbying for," TIA policy & research manager Simon Wallace said.
"Long weekends encourage people to travel and the benefits will flow on from tourism into other areas, such as retailers, petrol stations, bars and cafes."
Domestic tourism is worth $13.8 billion annually, or $38 million a day, to New Zealand and was the lifeblood of many tourism operations, Wallace said.
"We recognise that some employers may be disadvantaged by this bill with extra wage costs, but these are likely to be minimal given the situation happens only two in every seven years. Businesses have also told us that more long weekends will improve worker productivity, which has benefits for the whole country."
National says the extra holidays will impose a $200m burden on the economy.
Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief executive Peter Townsend said he could not think of any benefits to business owners from the extra Monday holidays.
However, businesses would deal with the "relatively minor" impact.
"There will be a cost to business ... [but] businesses will adapt to it ... ," Townsend said.
"If the desire of the community is that those holidays be Monday-ised, then there is an impost on employers but that will be accommodated over time."
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