New Zealand border reopening
Returning fully vaccinated Kiwis will be welcomed back from mid-January but only if originating from Australia.

Travellers entering New Zealand from 11.59pm on Monday June 20 will no longer be required to undertake a pre-departure COVID test – a decision that has been widely welcomed by hotel and tourism businesses.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) is hopeful that the move will encourage more travellers to visit New Zealand this ski season.

“The removal of pre-departure testing will make it easier for prospective visitors to choose New Zealand when weighing up where to holiday,” said TIA Chief Executive, Rebecca Ingram.

“We’re excited that we can now move into the next phase of recovery and confidently welcome more international manuhiri (visitors) to our shores.” 

The news was warmly welcomed by hotel industry owners and operators, including IHG Hotels and Resorts and Pro-invest Hotels, who recently partnered on the opening of new hotels in Auckland – voco Auckland City Centre and Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Centre.

“Having just opened New Zealand’s tallest hotel development with voco Auckland and Holiday Inn Express Auckland, we’re very pleased with the news,” Pro-invest New Zealand Area General Manager Fraser McKenzie, told HM.

“It’s welcome news not only for us as a business but also for the local tourism industry who have been pushing hard for this change. Having the borders fully open will make it so much easier for travellers to enter the country and comes just in time for the ski season and Australian school holidays.”

IHG’s VP Commercial – JAPAC, Dean Jones, also praised the government’s “carefully considered decision”.

“We’ve already seen a strong surge in demand for Aussies travelling to NZ, and steps like this that remove barriers to travel are very welcome indeed – especially with the announcement coming just in time for ski season,” Jones told HM.

Accor Pacific recently introduced its Swiss-born premium hospitality brand Mövenpick to New Zealand. Chief executive, Sarah Derry, said the removal of this requirement is “brilliant news” for New Zealand and for travellers.

“Guests who are looking for great experiences will find that the choice and quality of accommodation in New Zealand is world class,” Derry told HM.

“This could not have come at a better time for the industry and we know our loyal guests will be delighted, especially as the snow forecast looks good.”

Minor Hotels, which has properties in Auckland, Queenstown and Wellington, described the move as “a positive step forward”.

“In making international travel to New Zealand as easy as possible, travellers will once again be instilled with confidence in booking that holiday or business trip to New Zealand with minimised risk,” Minor Hotels Australia and New Zealand. Chief Operating Officer, Craig Hooley, told HM.

By the end of next month, New Zealand’s border will be fully reopened to international travellers, three months earlier than originally planned.