Warm Welcome Awaits Australian Visitors To NZ

Australia

Tourism operators around the country are breathing a sigh
of relief at the opening of the trans-Tasman travel bubble
on 19 April.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive
Chris Roberts says the industry was desperately keen to be
given a date today and clear details on the conditions for
travel.

“Tourism operators can now take bookings
with confidence and scale up their staffing. It also means
marketing campaigns to the Aussies can go
ahead.”

The timing means that ski regions in
particular will receive a boost in the coming months, he
says. In normal times more than 70% of overseas visitors who
ski in New Zealand are from Australia.

However, Mr
Roberts cautions that the speed at which Australian
travellers will return to New Zealand is
unknown.

“Surveys have shown there is pent up demand
for travel and Australians have no other options for
international travel at present. But we anticipate that
there will be some initial caution on both sides of the
Tasman. We expect that people reuniting with family and
friends will lead the way, followed by business people and
holidaymakers.”

Before COVID-19, Australia was our
biggest overseas market, making up about 40% of
international visitors or 1.5 million out of 3.9 million
annual arrivals. About a third of the arrivals coming across
the Tasman were New Zealanders now living in Australia and
many of the visits were to see friends and
family.

Arrivals from Australia tend to stay for a
shorter period and spend less while here than visitors from
New Zealand’s other major international markets. Excluding
airfares and some other pre-travel costs, Australian
arrivals spent almost $3b a year in New Zealand, around 25%
of the total international visitor spend in
Aotearoa.

If the trans-Tasman travel bubble remains
open for the remainder of 2021, Australian visitors are
expected to collectively spend at least $1 billion in New
Zealand this year, and potentially a lot more.

More
broadly, a successful trans-Tasman travel bubble will be an
important first step in reconnecting with the
world.

“The procedures and protocols that are being
put in place will be a blueprint for opening up travel from
other countries as soon as it is safe to do so,” Mr
Roberts
says.

© Scoop Media

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