Border closure badly hits remote NZ tourist town

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Wellington, Aug 7 | New Zealand’s Fox Glacier has long been an internationally renowned tourism attraction. But the Covid-induced border closure has badly impacted the remote destination.

Located on the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand, Fox Glacier township, as well as the nearby Franz Josef, own spectacular scenic views of snow mountains, glaciers and temperate rain forest, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

Around three to four-hour drive from renowned Queenstown and Wanaka makes the remote town always ski tourists’ alternative for winter adventure and relaxation. The local economy is extremely reliant on tourism, especially international tourists.

Rob Jewell, CEO of Fox Glacier Guiding, is deeply concerned about the cancellations of booking after the eight-week pause of Trans-Tasman travel bubble implemented in late July, usually the peak season for businesses of Fox Glacier township.

Jewell told Xinhua that 97 per cent of his revenue came from international tourists before the Covid-19 pandemic.

To date, the remote township witnessed four times more domestic tourists coming in the past half year. The operating capacity of Jewell’s company, however, remained only 10 per cent of the pre-Covid period.

“This year, we cannot see any good signs before October due to new Covid outbreak in Australia,” Jewell said.

A survey launched by the Glacier Country Tourism Group, a regional marketing group in Westland, shows that in the past year, 73 per cent of 103 businesses in the Group reduced their staff.

All together 519 jobs were reported lost. At least 68 businesses and an additional 195 jobs will likely be lost in the next six months if there is no changes on the border control or no additional support from the government.

Before the pandemic, Fox Glacier township had around 250 residents. Now the number plummeted to 160.

Jewell still holds an optimistic view on his business in a long run, however.

“I am on rebuilding strategy of my business. Maybe the year of 2022, maybe later, the border will reopen and tourists will come back. We need to be ready for that.”

Source: IANS

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Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Does MBA really help in getting a better job offer ?

Most students pursuing an MBA come with the sole objective of having a decent job offer or a promotion in the existing job soon after completion of the MBA. And most of them take loans to pursue this career dream. According to a recent survey by education portal Campusutra.com  74% MBA 2022-24 aspirants said they would opt for education loans.

There are exceptional cases like those seeking master’s degree or may have a family business to take care of or an entrepreneurial venture in mind. But the exception cases are barely 1%. For the rest 99%, a management degree is a ticket to a dream job through campus placements or leap towards career enhancements. Stakes are high as many of them quit their jobs which essentially means loss of 2 years of income, apprehension and uncertainty of the job market. On top of that, the pressure to pay back the education loans. Hence the returns have to be high. There is more than just the management degree. Colleges need to ensure that they offer quality management education which enables them to be prepared for not just the demands of recruiters and for a decent job but also to sustain and achieve, all along their career path.

  • So, what exactly are the B Schools doing to prepare their students for the job market and make them industry ready ?
  •  Are B schools ready to deliver and prepare the future business leaders to cope up with the disrupted market ?  

These are the two key questions every MBA aspirant needs to ask, check and validate before filling the MBA application forms of management institutes. And worth mentioning that these application forms do not come cheap. An MBA aspirant who may have shortlisted 5 B Schools to apply for, may end up spending Rs 10,000.00 to Rs 15,000.00 just buying MBA / PGDM application forms.

While internship and placements data of some management institutes clearly indicates that recruiters today have specific demands. The skill sets looked for are job centric and industry oriented. MBA schools which have adopted new models of delivery and technology, redesigned their courses, built an effective evaluation process and prepared the students to cope with the dynamic business scenario, have done great with campus placements despite the economic slow down.

However, the skill set being looked for by a consulting company like Deloitte or KPMG may be quite different from FMCG or a manufacturing sector. Institutes need to acknowledge this fact and act accordingly.

  • Management institutes should ensure that students are intellectually engaged, self motivated and adapt to changes fast. In one word ‘VUCA ready’.
  • B Schools should encourage students to participate in national and international competitive events, simulations of business scenarios.
  • Institutes should have the right mix of faculty members with industry exposure and pure academics.

The placement records of 2021 across top management institutes indicated the fact that recruitment is happening, skilled talent is in demand and certain management institutions continued to attract recruiters even in the middle of an ongoing crisis.

It is time, all management institutes rise to the occasion, understand market realities and identify areas of improvement at both ends – students and faculty.

After all, the stakes are high at both ends. B Schools taking corrective measures will stay while those which are lagging will end up shutting down.

Author Name : Nirmalya Pal

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