Surviving Covid-19, Jobs for nature
Like all New Zealand tourism businesses, the last two years have been challenging for Fox Glacier Guiding. But, thanks to some wonderful support from the NZ domestic market we’ve been able to retain many of our key staff. The team has relished the chance to share our glacier experiences with visiting kiwis; who in turn have loved the unique opportunity to explore Fox Glacier during a quieter period of time on the West Coast.
Remaining operational throughout the COVID crisis has also enabled us to keep current with all safety management requirements for guiding on the ice, so that we remain fully prepared and ready as the borders open to overseas visitors!
Whilst Fox Glacier Guiding has stayed fully operational, without the usual volume of international visitors we’ve had to find other ways to keep our team busy. The Jobs for Nature project has been a hugely important initiative which has provided an additional source of income for not just our staff, but most of the tourism and hospitality businesses in Glacier Country.
Jobs for Nature is a joint venture between tourism businesses impacted by COVID working with various government agencies, including the Department of Conservation (DOC), to keep skilled staff in the region working. Jobs for Nature has repurposed traditional tourism jobs to roles that help protect and restore natural areas and maintain or upgrade visitor assets, such as walking and hiking tracks.
The Fox Glacier Guiding team has worked hard maintaining a number of trails within Westland Tai Poutini National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Area), including the famous Copland Track, the Fox Glacier South Side Track and Cycleway as well as helping build a new track to a spectacular lookout over Lake Gault, above Lake Matheson. Other work has included pest management as part of the ambitious Predator Free South Westland project and the control of invasive weeds to improve native habitats.