New Zealand

Time to push for full reopening of NZ borders

Entry for international leisure and business travelers now priority

Celebrating the government’s decision to bring forward its timeframe to reopen the border and remove any requirement to self-isolate on arrival, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) says tourism businesses still need more certainty on when international visitors can come into New Zealand. 

In a statement, TIA communications manager Ann-Marie Johnson said while applauding the move to allow Kiwis to return home from anywhere and vaccinated Australians entry once again, the tourism industry’s priority should focus on the reopening of borders to vaccinated international leisure and business travellers.  

The nature of the next summer season, the statement read, will be heavily determined by decisions taken now about New Zealand’s reopening settings.

Many parts of the tourism industry operate to long lead times, airlines and the cruise sector, but tourism operators also need some time to prepare their businesses for the return of international visitors.

“It would be wonderful if we could signal soon that New Zealand will reopen to Australian visitors in time for their April school holiday period which includes Easter. If current forecasts are correct, New Zealand’s Omicron outbreak will have passed its peak by then,” Ms Johnson said.

“The industry’s recovery will not begin until high value holidaymakers can enter New Zealand. 

“The sooner we can signal intentions and timelines for reopening both air and maritime borders, the sooner tourism operators can get back to doing what they do best.”

TIA, she said, is glad the Government has listened to its calls for the end of self-isolation for international arrivals but will continue to push for the dates for full reopening of New Zealand’s borders to be specified as quickly as possible.

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