The New Zealand Government has reneged on a promise that it would reopen borders and reconnect to the world in the first quarter of 2022 on the condition that the country’s population was 90% fully vaccinated, says the chair of the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ).
Scott Mehrtens who is also managing director of Leisure Time Travel, says this week’s announcement around borders was really just a tinkering of the MIQ situation for returning New Zealanders.
SITA will make its Digital Travel Declaration solution – which allows passengers to share required travel and health documentation with governments ahead of travel – available to governments free of charge globally. The company says this is aimed at addressing the challenge of submitting and verifying health documentation which remains a major impediment to the recovery of the global travel industry.
There is a marked shift in the attitude of New Zealanders to see the New Zealand border open sooner, according to the latest KANAR survey released this week by Tourism New Zealand.
Researched in October, the survey shows that 57% of the 1,200 plus respondents would ‘prefer the NZ borders to open sooner to a limited number of low-risk countries to help the economy, with safety measures in place.’ This is up from 49% in the same survey in July 2021.
Nasama Resort and Breaka’s Beach Resort joined forces to hold Vanuatu’s first vaccination party over the weekend.
Anyone was welcome to come along, get vaccinated, and share some kai kai (dinner) and enjoy the entertainment. It was held at Nasama Resort’s new restaurant, The Three Pigs, and 380 people received their first or second dose on the day.
Airlines have had a week of positivity as more markets relax their Covid-19 restrictions and start to look forward to reopening their hotel doors, says OAG’s chief analyst John Grant.
However he says that airlines are increasingly cautious of adding capacity back too quickly, despite the market positivity, especially through the coming winter season.
Flight Centre managing director Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner admits he may be a ‘bit optimistic’ but predicted yesterday that New Zealand would open its borders to certain places before Christmas.
Speaking during Flight Centre Corporate’s Illuminate virtual event yesterday, Turner noted that Covid was in the community on this side of the Tasman.
‘So there is no reason they can’t open up to fully vaccinated people. Vaccination is the key, perhaps with 72 hour testing as well.’
Samoa’s Covid-19 contact tracing app, Samoa Travel Tracer, has been officially launched in Apia by Prime Minister Fiame Naomi Mataafa.
The platform is a joint initiative between the Ministry of Health and Samoa Tourism Authority and is a vital component of the Samoa Travel-Ready Toolkit.The toolkit also includes vaccination, tourism business operator training and maintenance, and sales and marketing initiatives.
Samoa Travel Tracer is based on the privacy-preserving BlueTrace protocol developed in Singapore, and it was developed locally in partnership with SkyEye and the Samoa Information Technology Association.
Tourism Fiji has a new initiative to encourage all Fijians to be ready to welcome back international visitors when travel resumes. The initiative communicates a simple, but important, message in a bid to reach 100% vaccination of eligible population in Fiji.
‘It’s our best shot at travel: get vaccinated and get ready,’ will be shared across Tourism Fiji’s digital channels, both locally and globally.
‘The campaign also includes a toolkit for the Fijian tourism industry so they too can encourage Fijians to support the drive to get vaccinated and be ready to reopen,’ says Brent Hill, Tourism Fiji CEO.
The travel and tourism industries say the galvanising of the general public to take the jab is a silver lining in the grim reality of a Level 4 lockdown.
Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) president , Brent Thomas, says it is important to give credit where it’s due and acknowledge that the vaccination rate has picked up markedly.
‘From a travel industry point of view that means we will likely to be on target for the government to start opening the borders early next year as promised,’ says Thomas.
More than 80% of people support both domestic and international vaccine passports to open a return more rapidly to business travel, according to polling results released out of Australia by the corporate arms of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCM, Corporate Traveller, Flight Centre Business Travel, and Stage and Screen).
Over 1700 people across the LinkedIn channels of the four brands responded, with 80.75% in favour of a domestic and international vaccine passport, and less than 9% not in support of any passport initiative.