Early season finish for adventure tourism operator

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Early closure . . . Wild Earth Adventure closed its season early due to the Covid-19 lockdown. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

An adventure tourism business has been forced into its quiet months earlier than normal due to the lockdown.

Wild Earth Adventures, in East Taieri, provides recreational activities, such as sea kayaking and tramping, to educational facilities and tourists.

Run by Emma and Steve Brown, it usually operates from September until mid-May.

But due to the Covid-19 lockdown, they had to shut down earlier in the season than usual.

Mrs Brown said before lockdown they had worked for five days in a row with cruise ship passengers.

“Then the next day, that’s it. Midnight; no more, stop, done, finished, gone.”

They were lucky it happened later in the season cruise ship was expected in mid-April earlier, she said.

The lockdown also meant that any school trips were cancelled, but Mrs Brown hoped they would reschedule for the start of next season.

The winter months were typically a were a chance to take care of safety planning and maintenance.

“It obviously came a lot earlier than expected this year. We would be expecting to still be working through the last activities and groups at the moment.”

New Zealand’s move into Alert Level 2 today would have minimal impact on the business.

While she hoped things would be back to normal in September, she was unsure if the cruise ship industry would bounce back from the lockdown.

While the Government was taking steps to allow people to move around the country more easily, and possibly create a transtasman bubble, that was unlikely to affect the business.

“I don’t think any of that will have a positive impact on the way that we worked with tourists which was essentially getting people off cruise ships.”

Most of them were Americans, and their country was still “very much in the throes of things”.

For now, they were just waiting to see what happened when September rolled around.

“For us, winter will be the same as usual.”