While New Zealand, at the moment, does not have any cases of people who have the coronavirus, our economy will be affected.
New Zealand is closed to Chinese tourists and this is bad news for tourist industries like bungy jumping, jet boating, and so many other kinds of adventure tourism. Towns like Rotorua and Queenstown depend on tourists to fill their hotels and shops. Coach companies, tour guides, AirNZ and many other companies depend on the economic benefits of tourism. The virus attacked at the same time as the Chinese New Year when we usually have many Chinese tourists.
Our export industries are also affected. China is usually our largest importer of New Zealand meat and dairy products. However, many Chinese markets are closed at the moment. Our crayfish industry was preparing for the Chinese New Year. This is the time when customers in China often enjoy the luxury of crayfish. However, not this year. The live crayfish waiting in cages in the sea had to be released.
Another big economic loss could come from Chinese international students enrolled in our universities, high schools and language schools but stopped by the New Zealand government from arriving here. They pay huge fees to study here, fees which help to finance these educational institutions. Some students may come later but others may change their minds.
If the virus reaches people in New Zealand, economic losses will be greater.
- to affect (v) – to influence, to cause harm (Do not confuse this with the noun ‘effect’ which means a result)
- crayfish – lobster
- release (v) – set free, let go