NZ Tourism worries over the delays of Tasman Bubble

Published on : Thursday, January 28, 2021

The figures of New Zealand tourism are appearing quite despairing at the recent setbacks to the trans-Tasman bubble, explaining that they need international visitors – and soon – to keep away from mass unemployment and breakdown of businesses.

This week, hopes for quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand took a hit as the first community COVID-19 case of NZ in weeks prompted Australia to postpone its one-way arrangement.

Few want the bubble working more than the tourism businesses of New Zealand.

With borders close down to foreign tourists, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) says that the sector will fail on $NZ6 billion ($A5.6 billion) this summer.

Australians would have brought a third of that spend and perhaps more given a bubble would make New Zealand the only foreign country available to jetsetting Aussies.

Before Christmas, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern targeted the “first quarter” of this year for open borders, however on Tuesday the NZ leader explained that the reaction of Australia made the prospect “increasingly difficult”. Aggravated TIA chief executive, Chris Roberts sees the bubble slipping away.

“Every time we almost get to the prize it gets snatched away,” he told AAP.
“The government was proposing to make it two-way in the first quarter and they were going to give us a precise date for that in early January.

“Now we’re at the end of January and our prime minister is signalling it’s getting more difficult.

“Our tourism businesses need customers.”

Mr. Roberts explains that many companies have relished strong summers off the back of domestic vacationers, but those in remote sections of New Zealand like the South Island’s Fjordland and Westland – are fighting a lot.

“Te Anau, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef Glacier, places where Kiwis don’t tend to go have felt like ghost towns,” he said.

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