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"Welcome back Aussies, we’ve missed you": NZ tourism industry ready for good times ahead

New Zealand tourism operators are ready with open arms to welcome back Australian visitors tonight, says Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Rebecca Ingram. 

New Zealand tourism operators are ready with open arms to welcome back Australian visitors tonight, says Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Rebecca Ingram. 

Australians can travel to New Zealand quarantine free from 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 April, followed by manuhiri from visa waiver countries, including the USA, UK, Europe, Japan, Korea and Singapore on 1 May – bringing to an end two years of border restrictions.

“This is an exciting day for tourism businesses around the motu as they step back onto the front foot, setting their sights on a successful ski season, then summer 2022-23,” says Rebecca Ingram, Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive.

“The industry is reporting forward bookings are gaining momentum, and there’s definitely a more positive feeling about the future and the opportunities to rebuild businesses.”

Hui Kaihāpai New Zealand
Hui Kaihāpai New Zealand. Image: Tourism New Zealand

Christchurch Airport Manager Communications Yvonne Densem says both Air New Zealand and Qantas have added additional services into Christchurch this week, and almost all 16 flights are full, with more to come.

“Our view is the attractions of the South Island are all still here and ready for visitors. We are looking forward to saying ‘welcome back cobber!’ more often.”

Ziptrek Ecotours Zipline Tours Source: https://images.queenstownnz.co.nz/
Ziptrek Ecotours Zipline Tours. Source: Queenstown

Accor Pacific Chief Executive Officer Sarah Derry says people love to travel, and the hotel provider has seen a steady increase in bookings since the 16 March announcement that Australians can visit New Zealand again.

“The increase is driven by Queenstown and Auckland destinations. Bookings in April reflect a desire for Australians to reconnect with family and friends as soon as possible, and we are seeing booking trends which suggest Australians want to make the most of the upcoming winter ski season in Queenstown.”

Ms Ingram says the opening of the borders will breathe life into New Zealand’s cities and communities.

“Tourism is not an island – it’s connected to so many parts of our economy and our communities and the return of visitors will make a positive difference to many people.”

Milford Sound, New Zealand

As tourism gears up to reconnect with the world, she thanked New Zealanders who have helped keep many businesses across the motu afloat over the past two years by trying new experiences and exploring destinations they hadn’t visited previously.

“Kiwis are such an important part of our tourism industry, not just as domestic travellers, but because of the manaakitanga and warm welcome they extend to international visitors.”

Ms Ingram says TIA anticipates a slow and steady return of visitors, with people visiting friends and family first following by Australian and US visitors.

“We know there people around the world have continued to dream about a holiday in New Zealand, however TIA’s Recovery Roadmap suggests it could be 2-3 years before we find our ‘new normal’, meaning new levels of demand and travel patterns.”

For more information head to www.newzealand.com