Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) is urging New Zealand tourism businesses to be ready to welcome potentially an influx of Australian visitors if a Trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ for holidays between the two countries is given the go-ahead.
It is expected a draft proposal for how such an arrangement will work may be presented to the Australian and New Zealand governments as early as next week. A survey conducted by the Tourism and Transport Forum has indicated a strong eagerness to travel between the two countries if deemed safe to do so.
Prior to the pandemic in 2019, Australians comprised 40% of all international arrivals to New Zealand, with 1.5 million venturing across the ditch for business or leisure.
TIA Chief Executive, Chris Roberts, said he believed there was no doubt Australians would visit as soon as they were able.
“New Zealand is a clear favourite, with a third of those wanting to travel overseas identifying New Zealand as their preferred destination,” he said.
“New Zealand is seen as no riskier than travelling interstate within Australia, while there is a lot more apprehension about travelling to other destinations that have not been as successful in containing the virus.”
Roberts added that the next step was to consider whether the Pacific Island nations could be considered for a future travel bubble due to its strong reliance on Australia and New Zealand.