New Zealand tourism operators are ready to welcome Australian visitors back tonight, said Rebecca Ingram, chief executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa.
Australians can travel here without quarantine from 11:59 p.m. They will be followed on May 1 by manuhiri from visa-exempt countries, including the US, UK, Europe, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
– ending two years of border restrictions.
“It’s an exciting day for tourism businesses around the motu as they return to center stage, aiming for a successful ski season and then summer 2022-23,”
Mrs. Ingram said.
“The industry is reporting that forward bookings are gaining momentum, and there’s certainly a more positive sentiment about the future and the opportunities to rebuild businesses.”
Christchurch Airport communications manager Yvonne Densem said Air New Zealand and Qantas had added additional services to Christchurch this week, and nearly all 16 flights are full, with more to come.
“Our view is that South Island attractions are still here and ready for visitors. We look forward to saying ‘welcome cobber!’ more often.”
GO Rentals is seeing good bookings for the upcoming school holidays in April and also for the ski season in July, particularly from the Queenstown office, COO James Daglish said.
“Internationally, we are seeing excellent business from Australia, with strong business already coming from Europe. The other international markets are still somewhat reserved at this stage.
Sarah Derry, chief executive of Accor Pacific, said people love to travel and the hotel supplier has seen a steady increase in bookings since announcing on March 16 that Australians can once again visit New Zealand.
“The increase is driven by destinations Queenstown and Auckland. Bookings in April reflect Australians’ desire to reconnect with family and friends as soon as possible, and we’re seeing booking trends that suggest Australians want to make the most of the upcoming winter ski season in Queenstown.
Ms Ingram said open borders would breathe life into New Zealand towns and communities.
“Tourism is not an island – it is linked to many aspects of our economy and communities and returning visitors will make a positive difference for many people.”
As tourism prepares to reconnect with the world, she thanked New Zealanders who have helped keep many businesses afloat across the motu over the past two years by trying new experiences and exploring destinations that they had not visited before.
“Kiwis are such an important part of our tourism industry, not just as domestic travelers, but because of the manaakitanga and the warm welcome they extend to international visitors.”
Ms Ingram said TIA expected a slow and steady return of visitors, with people visiting friends and family being followed first by Australian and American visitors.
“We know people around the world have kept dreaming of vacationing in New Zealand, but TIA Recovery roadmap suggests that it could be 2-3 years before we find our “new normal”, i.e. new levels of demand and new modes of travel. »
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