WELLINGTON – Lobby New Zealand welcomes the announcement of a trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
For months, Lobby New Zealand and New Zealand’s tourism sector have been urging the Government to open up a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand. Although it hasn’t arrived sooner, the trans-Tasman travel bubble announced today will still bring great relief to New Zealand’s struggling tourism sector – a sector that holds eight percent of employment in New Zealand.
Make no mistake, the public health risk involved in such a travel bubble as the one announced today is the same as the public health risk involved in a travel bubble that could have been announced months ago. The Prime Minister and her Government have been detrimentally slow in the process of opening up this trans-Tasman bubble between Australia and New Zealand.
Although public health risk remains, the benefits that the announced bubble produces to businesses, families, and individuals, on both sides of the Tasman, clearly outweigh the possible public health risks posed. By restoring travel between the Tasman, we can expect to see close to normal levels of Australian tourist activity in New Zealand. In 2019, Australians made up 40% of annual arrivals and spent $2.7B. The resumption of travel between the Tasman will act as a great economic boost, and as a trial towards possible travel bubbles with other countries. Lobby New Zealand thoroughly welcomes this news.