Tourism operators can look forward to welcoming international manuhiri, following the announcement that New Zealand’s borders are reopening to many international travellers.
New border reopening dates
- Australian visitors, who have traditionally been New Zealand’s biggest market, will be able to return from 11.59pm on 12 April, coinciding with their school holiday period and the Easter break.
- Visitors from visa-waiver countries including the USA, UK, Japan, Germany, Korea and Singapore, will be able to enter from 11.59pm on 1 May.
Development West Coast chief executive Heath Milne says the borders reopening sooner than expected is a big relief.
“It may help some businesses keep their doors open.”
Prior to the pandemic, international visitors injected $83.2m per year into the West Coast economy with Australian visitors contributing $19m of that, according to data from MarketView.
Post-Covid, the West Coast has experienced a 40% in domestic visitor spending.
“It’s been great seeing so many New Zealanders visiting the Coast, and with so much to do in our backyard, we will be encouraging them to keep coming back,” Mr Milne said.
TIA expects a gradual recovery
"Although borders will be open to many travellers from the rest of the world over the coming weeks, it is anticipated that there will be a gradual rather than a rapid recovery during 2022.
"The most important aspect of today’s announcement is that it provides certainty for travellers to plan ahead and make their bookings, and for tourism operators to prepare their businesses, hire staff and renew contact with their international markets.
"Many parts of the tourism industry operate to long lead times. Airlines and the cruise sector in particular are finalising their schedules and selling itineraries for next summer.
"TIA’s Tourism Industry Roadmap suggests that it could be 2024 before the industry reaches its ‘new normal’.
"The industry has been working hard over the last two years to ensure it builds back sustainably and attract high quality visitors.
"We are ready to get back to contributing to Aotearoa and New Zealanders, not only economically but also by bringing vibrancy and diversity to our communities."