Travel bubble a welcome relief
Development West Coast (DWC) welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement that quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel will commence from April 19.
“Businesses have been eagerly awaiting the announcement on the trans-Tasman travel bubble,” says DWC Chief Executive Heath Milne.
“With international borders closed for over a year now, it’s been an incredibly challenging time for tourism and hospitality businesses, particularly those in Glacier Country which has been one of the hardest hit areas in New Zealand.
“News of the travel bubble has been met with a collective sigh of relief. Having clarity on dates allows businesses to finally start looking ahead,” Mr Milne says.
According to data from Infometrics, Australia is the West Coast’s largest international visitor market, accounting for 21 percent of international visitor spending. Prior to the pandemic, in the year to March 2020, Australians spent $50.3 million on the West Coast.
DWC Regional Economic Manager Jo Birnie says: “While the travel bubble announcement is a welcome relief, the winter season is just around the corner, so it is vital our operators make the most of the potential influx of Australian visitors and are trade ready.”
“DWC is working with Tourism NZ aligning the best ways to bring the region and operators’ stories to the Australian audience.
“Joint venture campaigns are also planned with both Christchurch Airport involving ANZCRO and Travel Managers on the announcement of the Australian bubble, as well as Christchurch NZ for the winter season,” Ms. Birnie says.
“In the coming weeks we will be keeping our local operators updated on what they need to know to operate in the quarantine-free travel bubble.
Tourism NZ has a series of upcoming webinars with the first being: ‘Quarantine free travel from Australia – what you need to know’ (Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11am - 12pm).
“These are being advertised on DWC’s Facebook page, website, and for those who have signed up for our newsletters.
“Operators need to think about what they need to be trade ready and we will be sending updates out around this. Although we don’t know the potential volume of Australian visitors yet, businesses need to consider staffing and if they have the right skills. DWC’s Upskill team is available to help you with this.
“The Australian travel bubble does not alter the Glacier Country Business Support Fund and eligible businesses are reminded that applications close at 10am on Monday 12 April,” Ms. Birnie says.
Information about the Trans-Tasman travel bubble:
A successful trans-Tasman travel bubble will be an important first step in reconnecting with the world. The procedures and protocols that are being put in place will be a blueprint for opening up travel from other countries as soon as it is safe to do so. Download the Quarantine-free Traffic Light System.
Quarantine-free travel information