New Zealand

TECNZ: NZ quarantine requirement major deterrent for returning travellers

Feedback received from offshore partners indicates their clients only interested in visiting NZ if they can avoid MIQ

International travel operator feedback indicates vaccinated international travellers will avoid visiting New Zealand if they are required to undergo managed isolation quarantine (MIQ) on arrival.

Under current requirements almost every person who arrives into New Zealand from a quarantine-free travel zone must quarantine for at least 14 days, undergoing up to three tests, a health assessment and testing negative before being allowed to leave.

Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ) chief executive, Lynda Keene said it was clear from feedback received from offshore partners, including tour wholesalers and agents, their clients are only interested in visiting the country if they can avoid having to undergo MIQ.

Ms Keene said her organisation was regularly hearing of other destinations where borders have been reopened and visitors are being welcomed albeit with strict conditions but without having to undergo MIQ.

These conditions include proof of full vaccination, passport-based verification of travel arrangements, PCR and rapid antigen tests and strict adherence to contact tracing.

TECNZ, she said, would propose a similar range of border settings to be included in the New Zealand International Tourism Recovery plan, part of which see MIQ no longer a requirement for fully-vaccinated arrivals enabling inbound tourism operators to begin advising their international partners of the change in policy. 

Just as importantly, she said, was the need to let offshore travel operators have a firm idea when New Zealand’s borders would reopen.

Current indications are New Zealand’s borders could be ready for reopening in Q1 2022.

But with international travel booking lead-in time taking anything from three months for long-haul FIT travellers and 18 months for groups, her concern was that if New Zealand’s travel sector could not give their overseas partners firm advice on border reopening dates, those partners would simply look to other destinations for their clients.

Mike Parker-Brown

Mike Parker-Brown is a UK-trained and qualified journalist and an award-winning travel communicator with more than 30 years experience. Since 2002, Mike has worked as a freelance writer and PR consultant providing his services to major organisations in Australia and internationally in the tourism, aviation, hospitality, recruitment and export marketing sectors.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button