TOURISM AUSTRALIA’s first international campaign in more than a year has been launched with New Zealanders being reminded to reconnect with their neighbouring country as a two-way travel bubble is prepared.
Quarantine-free travel across the Tasman Sea is set to commence from April 18 with New Zealanders – Australia’s second-largest source market for overseas visitors – the first international travellers to be welcomed back.
Tourism chiefs hope the bubble will form the framework for similar arrangements with other countries and regions.
The bubble has been welcomed by business events leaders on both sides of the Tasman. “Australian clients are telling us they want to meet and do business person-to-person in New Zealand, and we can’t wait to welcome them back,” said Lisa Hopkins, chief executive of Business Events Industry Aotearoa.
A AU$3 million “Be the First” marketing and PR campaign aimed at family and independent travellers is underway in New Zealand from and scheduled to run until June.
Phillipa Harrison, Tourism Australia managing director, said: “As one of our closest neighbours and largest inbound markets, we have long held strong tourism ties with New Zealand, so we are really excited to be exclusively welcoming our friends from across the Tasman back to Australia.
“Australia has long been the most popular outbound travel destination for New Zealanders, who spent AU$2.6 billion [US$1.9bn] on their travels here in 2019,” Harrison said.
“While the travel bubble won’t fill the void of all lost international business, it will provide an important boost to our industry by helping to drive demand to some of those areas that need it most.
“After a year of almost no international travel, there is a real opportunity for us to capture pent up demand by encouraging the 1.7 million New Zealand travellers who normally travel to other destinations overseas to instead choose Australia for their next holiday.”
In 2019, trans-Tasman routes contributed 18 per cent of all international inbound seat capacity to Australia.
Main picture: Al fresco lunch in Barossa Valley, South Australia