Tourism and Air NZ set to capitalise on Aussie demand as bubble launches

The New Zealand and Australian Governments have confirmed a quarantine-free travel arrangement will commence on 19 April, meaning Australians will be able to visit New Zealand without undertaking managed isolation.

Following the announcement, Tourism New Zealand is planning activity to increase visitation and leverage the pent-up demand and desire to travel.

“Tourism New Zealand has been working hard to keep Aotearoa top of mind for Australian visitors over the last year,” said interim chief executive René de Monchy. “We will need to work even harder to convert this into bookings.”

The border opening is a key step in the recovery of New Zealand’s international tourism industry. Prior to COVID-19, Australians made up almost 40% of international arrivals to New Zealand and contributed around 24% or $2.7 billion of New Zealand’s annual international visitor spend.

“We aren’t expecting Australian visitor numbers to return to previous levels for some time, and expect the first to travel will be those reconnecting with family and friends,” said de Monchy.

“Tourism must give back more than it takes. We have a strategic marketing approach to deliver exactly that and ensure visitors have clear expectations of how to look after our home.

“Our activity is driven by research and insights and by what New Zealanders expect from the tourism industry. These insights ensure the tourism sector is well positioned for recovery and ready to attract Australian visitors again.”

The tourism organisation’s research shows over half of Australians are motivated to have a holiday that includes fun and enjoyment (56%) and to relax and refresh (53%).

“This presents a great opportunity for operators and businesses to offer experiences that appeal to this,” added de Monchy.

New Zealand’s national carrier, Air New Zealand will be ramping up flights between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown and eight of its Australian ports following the start of the bubble.

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said the airline is “incredibly excited” to have the border reopen to Australia.

“This is terrific news. I know Kiwis and Australians have been wanting to reconnect with whānau and friends for a year now and we’re incredibly excited to be playing a part in those reunions.

The airline has been preparing for a trans-Tasman bubble for a few months now, bringing furloughed crew back onboard and ensuring they are up to speed with training, along with making sure its international airports and lounges are ready for the influx of customers.

“Our people have shown incredible agility of the past 12 months as things have changed at an unbelievable pace.

“We’d like to say a huge thanks to New Zealanders for standing by us while we’ve mainly been a domestic business for the past year. I’m extremely proud to say that we’ve got one of the most robust domestic businesses of any airline around the world. We look forward to being able to extend that across the Tasman.

“Using the strength of our domestic network we’ll be able to connect Australians with more destinations around the country. With the rest of the world still out of reach, New Zealand offers landscapes and experiences that are up there with the world’s best attractions.”

Tourism New Zealand’s video game-like marketing push Play NZ lunched last year while much of Australia was in lockdown due to COVID-19. The tour of the nation’s greatest cultural hotspots and natural wonders which looked convincingly like a video game, was 18 months in the making with TBWA Sydney.

Tourism New Zealand appointed Mindshare as its global media agency partner to deliver campaign material to potential visitors worldwide on 1 July 2019.


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