Covid-19: a tourism company offers free entry during school holidays to vaccinated visitors
A Central Otago tourism business is offering free entry to people vaccinated against Covid-19 during school holidays, but was surprised by a social media backlash.
Highlands Motorsport Park chief executive Josie Spillane said the offer was posted on social media on Monday to encourage New Zealanders to get the jab.
It covered free entry to the Cromwell-based Motorsport Park Museum, which normally costs $ 30 for adults and is free for accompanying children.
The company would not make any money from the promotion, Spillane said.
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“We just wanted to play our part in promoting the positivity of the vaccination program… and encourage the kiwis to use the tools that have been provided to us to fight this pandemic.”
Vaccinating New Zealanders was key for business and events to come, and for the resumption of tourism, she said.
The company had over 110 employees in four companies across New Zealand and was determined to keep them all employed.
However, the Covid-19 level 3 lockdown in Auckland meant Game Over in Albany was closed and Hampton Downs Motorsport Park was operating at limited hours.
“Vaccination is going to be the solution for our businesses,” she said.
It would also protect vulnerable people and help avoid blockages in the future, she said.
While many responses on social media were in favor of the free entry offer, she was surprised some people threatened to boycott the company on it.
The intention of the company was to exclude no one.
“You can choose to show your card at reception and get free admission or choose not to show it or not be vaccinated and pay $ 30.
“It’s just our way of promoting the message that immunization is really important to the 5 million team.”
Aotearoa tourism industry chief executive Chris Roberts said many tour operators plan to only allow guests who have been vaccinated, likely starting early next year after most people have had the opportunity to be vaccinated.
Operators have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their staff, he said.
“If you determine that the best way to do it is to keep unvaccinated clients away, you have the right to refuse service to anyone who is not vaccinated. “
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that vaccination certificates may be needed for some events so New Zealanders can enjoy a normal summer.
Spillane said the offer in Highlands would extend to people who could not be vaccinated for medical reasons and children could enter for free with a family pass regardless.
Entrance included access to the virtual reality room, mini-golf, playground and balance bikes.