Welcoming the news that a trans-Tasman bubble will be open from the 19th of April; Hospitality New Zealand is reminding those in the sector to seize every opportunity this bubble will provide the industry.
Chief Executive Julie White commented that the bubble is wonderful news for struggling hospitality and accommodation businesses.
“Now it’s a matter of grasping every opportunity the expected influx of Australian visitors and Kiwis returning to visit family will bring their way,” she said.
“Australians typically comprise the biggest chunk of our incoming visitor market, accounting for 39 percent and spending $2.7 billion in 2019, and though it would be too much to expect it to get back to anywhere near that level for quite some time, I’m optimistic this will be enough to save some of our hospitality businesses.”
White went on to note that winter is coming, and after many businesses suffered from a disappointing summer, it’s crucial they grab every opportunity.
“Australians, like Kiwis, are great travellers, and I believe we’ll see them looking to throw off their shackles and explore New Zealand for the first time and, we’ve got our ski season coming up, so we’re hoping winter will not be as dark as some businesses were fearing,” White continued.
The test will be to see if New Zealand can keep the bubble open.
“It’s time we learned to live with a bit of risk. We need to balance the health risk with the wider economic risk. We welcome the Government’s three-stage traffic light plan of ‘continue’, ‘pause’, and ‘suspend’ as part of learning to live with COVID,” concluded White.
“It’s crucial for businesses, families, and the wider economy that we accept some risk and stay open.”