Outgoing TEC chair, Anna Black, with new chair, Scott Mehrtens Outgoing TEC chair, Anna Black, with new chair, Scott Mehrtens

Forecast on borders, visitors

Tourism Export Council (TEC) NZ has presented its hopes for a time line in terms of border openings.

In one of her last acts a TECNZ chair, Anna Black reiterated the organisation’s desire to have its New Zealand International Recovery Plan considered as the New Zealand Government prepares its own Tourism Transformation Plan.

In a presentation at TEC’s conference in New Plymouth last month, while Tourism Minister Stuart Nash was present, Black noted the recovery plan included input on projections of border openings, the conditions under which those borders would open and when those decisions might be made public in advance of the actual openings.

‘We have a timeline of where we hope and expect border openings to happen,’ says Black, ‘starting in early 2022 with perhaps the US and Canada in Q1, China and some other Pacific rim nations in Q2 and our longer haul European and UK friends in Q3.

‘Of course we keep having things like the Australian lockdowns and waiting to see the effect of ‘Freedom Day’ in the UK to throw potential spanners in the works.

‘But if our vaccine rollout continues as planned, with no major hiccups, this is what we hope for.’

Black, executive director of General Travel, also presented projected arrival numbers over the next four years and how TEC expects the growth to look, assuming the markets open when the council expects them to.

‘We should be back to almost 40% of our visitor arrivals by May 2022, almost 72% by May 2023, over 88% by May 2024 and back to pre-Covid visitor arrival numbers by May 2025 or the end of the 24-25 season.’

Black says the assumptions the forecast is based on include intel and demand from clients offshore, Covid status and vaccination levels in source countries, propensity of travel and airline connectivity.

‘It is all crystal ball gazing, but TEC felt we needed to put a stake in the ground as a guideline for Government on what our predictions might be.’

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