News of the trans-Tasman travel opening is a positive step that will allow friends and family to reunite and supports New Zealand’s international tourism recovery.
“We expect that the first people to take up travel will be those wanting to reconnect with friends and family and our modelling shows that while visitor numbers aren’t anticipated to return to previous levels overnight we can expect to be back at 80% by January 2022,” says Tourism New Zealand Interim Chief Executive René de Monchy.
Tourism New Zealand estimates quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand resuming soon could bring in $1 billion to the economy by the end of the year. “Tourism New Zealand has been working hard to keep Aotearoa top of mind for Australian visitors over the last year. We will need to work even harder to convert this into bookings,” says de Monchy.
Despite solid domestic tourism, there is an estimated $12.9 billion expected gap from the loss of international visitors. The return of Australian visitors will go some way to helping reduce this gap. Australians spent $2.7 billion in New Zealand in 2019.
Tourism New Zealand’s activity to encourage travel is driven by research and insights about the market and by what New Zealanders expect from the tourism industry. These insights are shared with industry to ensure the tourism sector is well positioned for recovery and ready to attract Australian visitors again.
“Our research shows that over half of Australians are motivated to have a holiday that includes fun and enjoyment (56%) and to relax and refresh (53%),” de Monchy explains. “This presents a great opportunity for operators and businesses to offer experiences that appeal to this. We have some exciting campaigns planned to drive bookings to New Zealand launching soon. According to our research, 89% of New Zealanders believe that re-starting tourism when it is safe to do so is important for the wellbeing of New Zealanders.”
Prior to COVID-19, Australians made up almost 40% of international arrivals to New Zealand and contributed around 24% or $2.7 billion of New Zealand’s annual international visitor spend.
*The New Zealand and Australian Governments have confirmed that a Quarantine-Free Travel arrangement will begin on Sunday 18th April at 11.59pm and Australians will be able to visit New Zealand without undertaking managed isolation. There will be requirements for travellers, see here for more details.