Summer Bookings Give Hope to Tourism in NZ

According to Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), the tourism industry in New Zealand has uncovered newfound confidence as the country enters the next phase of its border reopening plan. 

While the industry does not anticipate an immediate influx of visitors, forward bookings have given operators some certainty and assurance in their future planning. 

“Forward bookings from visa-waiver countries are looking optimistic, with visitors planning to arrive in late spring and early summer,” said Chief Executive at TIA.

TIA Chief Executive Rebecca Ingram

Vanessa McKay, Managing Director of Carino Wildlife Cruises in Paihia, shared that she looks forward to having more certainty as the borders reopened. “Although it will still be quiet here in Northland through winter, it means we can start to make some real plans regarding employing staff, scheduling cruises and capital investment.” 

According to McKay, forward bookings for the upcoming summer season are starting to look great as international wholesalers’ demand remains strong.

“It is looking like it will be a busy summer for us. We can’t wait to welcome back our international guests, take them cruising again, share stories with them and inspire them with our passion for the ocean.”

Jolanda Cave, General Manager at Ngāi Tahu Tourism, has also revealed that tourism attractions have started to see a rise in the number of bookings from overseas for the summer season.

During the quieter period, Ngāi Tahu Tourism shifted its focus to its cultural storytelling to ensure it has on offer the best product possible. 

“We can’t wait to showcase our products to our international friends again. We know there will be a few extra hurdles for visitors who come from overseas, and so we want to make sure that their experience with Ngāi Tahu Tourism is worth the wait.”

The entire New Zealand tourism industry is highly thankful and thrilled with the progress they have been making, giving them a glimmer of hope that a new normal will emerge soon, said David Gatward-Fergusson from Nomad Safaris in Queenstown.

According to TIA, the first step for the tourism industry to actively make a positive contribution to New Zealand’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is to support tourism businesses to step back on the front foot.