New Zealand

Hospitality New Zealand welcomes government’s COVID-19 plan

New Zealand is preparing for the future of international travel.

Travel is on its way back to New Zealand, a first step in industry recovery for tourism and hospitality providers.

Looking towards life after COVID-19, New Zealand’s government has made plans to reconnect the country with the rest of the world. Hospitality New Zealand has welcomed the news. 

“It’s great we can now see what the government is aiming to achieve,” said Chief Executive Julie White. “At least we now have some sort of plan, and our businesses can work towards that.”

New Zealand is now preparing to reduce the need for lockdowns and border closures by focusing on the country’s vaccine program. This is good news for the country’s tourism and hospitality industry. In New Zealand, COVID-19 has left many businesses struggling. 

“There’s a fine balance between keeping people safe and opening the economy to ensure businesses are viable and operating, and the hospitality sector will continue to do its part in ensuring New Zealanders that happens,” said Ms White. “We need to keep the doors open, but we need to be cautious in doing so.”

What the New Zealand government is calling the “border reconnection” is set to start in 2022, offering opportunities for visitors to get back to New Zealand tourism and hospitality venues. The country will take a phased approach to easing restrictions. 

“With the recent Sydney outbreak still not under control, border restrictions are one of the tools in keeping us safe, so caution is the most prudent approach,” Ms White said, acknowledging the challenges that in-and-out lockdowns pose for hospitality workers. 

“Hospitality New Zealand also welcomes welcome the government’s desire to reduce the chances of further lockdowns by strengthening the health response, including by accelerating the vaccine rollout.”

Moving forward, New Zealand’s COVID-19 response plan will include boosting vaccination rates and enforcing mask wearing, as well as exploring home quarantine and vaccine passport options.

Ms White said: “Having a plan doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy, but it’s not impossible, and our people have showed to this point in the pandemic that they are mightily resilient.”

For now, New Zealand will continue to focus on domestic travel as a starting point for the recovery of the nation’s tourism industry. In the months to come, though, international travel is on the cards, and the future is looking much brighter for tourism and accommodation providers. 

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