Tourism Minister Stuart Nash says the border reopening to Australia has already made a huge difference to the tourism sector. However he is also aware that it is not a remedy to the pain of the last 12 months and says he knew initial movements would be mainly VFR.
‘It is essential that our top priority is keeping New Zealanders safe – keeping borders secure while opening safely as we have to Australia and Rarotonga, but also rolling out vaccination and ensuring it isdone by the end of the year.
‘Please do all you can to support your staff to make the right decisions around vaccinations. It might involve talking to them about the facts of vaccination and helping them through any vaccination hesitancy.’
Inbound tour operators have been specifically recognised at TRENZ Hui in Christchurch as part of the Tourism Communities Plan.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash says $14 million in existing loans from the 2020 Tourism Recovery Package will be able to be converted to grants for the sector. This means 26 ITOs may receive up to $500,000 each.
‘Inbound tour operators (ITOs) provide a vital link to global markets and need to be ready to facilitate the return of international visitors when it is safe to do so,’ says Nash
Travel trade and tourism operators were last night clinging to at least some hope that PONANT’s domestic cruising season around New Zealand will take shape in one form or another.
Yesterday the cruise line was continuing to talk to Immigration NZ after its shock last minute decision to prevent Le Laperouse from coming to New Zealand – despite having the green light from the Ministry of Health. At the time of going to press it was believed a final decision would be made today.