Lynda Keene Lynda Keene

Inbounders say clients ‘perplexed’ – time to set date for rejoining world

The Tourism Export Council of New Zealand says offshore wholesalers and agents continually question why NZ hasn’t announced a date for when international visitors can return.

‘They are perplexed. Visitors can now book travel to Australia (and most places around the world) and yet New Zealand remains closed,’ says TECNZ chief executive Lynda Keene.

‘It’s imperative we get a date from government within the next one to two weeks. The date is for when visitors can return without having to go through MIQ or a home isolation process. From an outbound perspective hundreds of New Zealand business people also need a date so they can get back out in the world to retain, repair and keep their global business networks alive, connected and productive.

‘All we are asking for is a date so businesses can plan with certainty, rather than using a crystal ball lurching from media scrum to media scrum on a daily basis.’

She says global competition for airlines to confirm 2022 routes on their international networks is heating up. Australia has declared its intentions with reigniting its international tourism industry, and so must New Zealand.

‘Around 40% of international visitors to the Oceania region have dual AU/NZ high value itineraries with Australia and New Zealand supporting hundreds of local and regional tourism businesses. Australia has made it very clear that their citizens can now fly
out of Australia (November 2021) and reconnect their business with the world and welcome back international visitors on a state and federal basis. New Zealand must keep pace with Australia.

‘We’re on a five to   10 year cycle. If Australia is open and NZ is not, that visitor will simply book an Australian itinerary for 28 days and will not consider NZ for another five years.’

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