Queenstown tourism operators have been suffering heavily since the start of the pandemic, but that’s not the only thing the town has going on.
Q+A Reporter Whena Owen visited and found a construction boom is taking place, both with a central city redevelopment, and with a heavy programme of residential development.
Building companies are crying out for workers to keep everything on schedule.
Queenstown’s renaissance is also coming from an influx of tech entrepreneurs and workers, which Startup Queenstown CEO Olivia Wensley says brings significant economic advantages.
“The average [tourism] worker contributes $70,000 to the GDP, the average tech worker brings in $400,000,” she said.
Wensley added that tourism is considered a highly “extractive” industry, but tech by contrast has a much better environmental profile.
However despite these successes, retail spending in Queenstown is still down heavily compared to pre-pandemic levels.