NZ gears up to welcome back Aussies quarantine-free from tonight

Australians can enter into New Zealand quarantine-free from 11:59pm tonight, marking an exciting day for the country's tourism operators.

Australians will be able to enter into New Zealand quarantine-free from 11:59pm tonight, marking an exciting day for the country’s tourism operators that are ready to welcome them back with open arms.

From 1 May, travellers from visa waiver countries such as the USA, UK, Europe, Japan, Korea and Singapore will also be welcomed back into New Zealand without the need to quarantine, bringing an end to two years of border restrictions.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) chief executive Rebecca Ingram said the opening of the borders will breathe life into New Zealand’s cities and communities.

“This is an exciting day for tourism businesses around the country as they step back onto the front foot, setting their sights on a successful ski season, then summer 2022-23,” Ingram said.

Airlines have added extra services and while operators around the country, from car rental companies to accommodation providers, have welcomed a surge in bookings for the April school holidays as well as for the July ski season. Most of the business is coming from Australia, followed by Europe, while other international markets are a little slower on the uptake.

“The industry is reporting forward bookings are gaining momentum, and there’s definitely a more positive feeling about the future and the opportunities to rebuild businesses.

“Tourism is not an island – it’s connected to so many parts of our economy and our communities and the return of visitors will make a positive difference to many people.”

Ingram said TIA anticipates a slow and steady return of visitors, with people visiting friends and family first following by Australian and US visitors.

“We know there are people around the world have continued to dream about a holiday in New Zealand, however TIA’s Recovery Roadmap suggests it could be two to three years before we find our ‘new normal’, meaning new levels of demand and travel patterns.”

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