Providing a holiday on Monday when Waitangi Day and Anzac Day fall on a weekend will stimulate domestic tourism, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) says.
‘Mondayisation’ would create real economic benefits generated by extra spending across many sectors of the economy, TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden told a Parliamentary Select Committee today.
Presenting TIA’s submission to the Holidays (Full Recognition of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day) Amendment Bill, Mr Snedden said domestic travellers spent $36 million a day ($13 billion annually) in communities all around New Zealand.
Many TIA members reported substantial boosts in patronage over long weekends. For example, in 2012, when Waitangi Day fell on a Monday, Hot Water Beach TOP 10 Holiday Park in the Coromandel recorded six times more visitors over the weekend than it did for the corresponding time in 2011 when Waitangi Day fell on a Sunday.
Park owner Sheree Webster says long weekends encourage families to get away for a break.
“If people wish to, they can still mark these special days by attending commemorative events held locally. Mondayisation would provide great opportunities for family and friends to spend time together to mark these important days,” she says.
Kathy Guy, General Manager of Bayview Wairakei Resort and Chateau Tongariro, and TIA Central Park Region Chair – Hotels, also supports Mondayisation.
“Everyone needs a holiday, but it’s getting harder to take time off work. Yet rested workers are more productive and better for businesses,” she says. “More long weekends that give Kiwis a chance for short breaks are the ideal solution.”
Mr Snedden recognises that some employers may be disadvantaged by this Bill with extra wage costs. But such costs are likely to be minimal given the situation happens only two in every seven years. For many tourism businesses, the benefits of attracting more visitors over a long weekend far outweigh the costs.
The commemoration of Waitangi Day and Anzac Day would still take place on 6 February and 25 April because of the significance these dates have for all New Zealanders. Granting a holiday on Monday when they fall on a weekend would enhance their status, he says.
Mondayising the holidays would also bring New Zealand into line with Australia where Australia Day and Anzac Day are Mondayised when they fall on a weekend. This practice had not diminished the significance of the days in Australia, Mr Snedden said.
To read TIA’s submission, go to www.tianz.org.nz/content/library/Holidays_Full_Recognition_of_Waitangi_Day_and_ANZAC_Day_Amendment_Bill.pdf