Tourism is New Zealand’s largest single export sector. Photo: Sébastien Goldberg..www.unsplash.com
*New Zealand has handled the Coronavirus Pandemic well.
*They have kick started Domestic tourism
The old 1984 campaign `Don’t Leave Home Until You’ve Seen the Country’ couldn’t be more relevant for New Zealand tourism. Especially so, after having handled the `coronavirus pandemic’ better than nations, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is looking to promote domestic tourism.
A young Kiwi man travels the world, but he’s unable to answer questions about places in New Zealand. His standard reply is “Dunno, I’ve never been there.” “Hey man, do you know where the Victoria Falls are?”, “Somewhere near Taupo aren’t they?” He is unable to impress a sophisticated Frenchwoman with his geographical knowledge. “A word of advice to all New Zealanders: don’t leave town till you’ve seen the country.”
New Zealand features on most people’s bucket list as a must-visit destination. Having put the travel plans on hold, many would want to visit countries that have managed the Pandemic well. New Zealand can definitely leverage its success to bolster the bucket-list value of this incredible destination.
The first week of July saw the domestic travel open up to all, as New Zealand entered Alert Level One. The next expected will be the cross-Tasman Bubble that will allow travel between Australia and New Zealand, which experts hope will start within the next two months.
“Our aim is to put forward a detailed set of recommendations that safely manage any health risks, while also allowing Kiwis and Australians to travel to each other’s country without the need for 14-day quarantine,” Scott Tasker, co-chair of the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group, which is developing the plans, said in a official statement.
New Zealand tourism
The country’s outbound travel spend is roughly NZ$9 billion a year on overseas travel before the COVID-19 pandemic. The government is hoping domestic tourism can help circulate the currency. Most Kiwis can think of at least one thing they have always longed to do in New Zealand, but have never got around to doing it.
Ms. Jacinda Ardern, during a Facebook Live video, asked for ideas to support Kiwis to make the most of travelling within the country. She said she heard New Zealanders talking about more flexibility with leaves and travel policies so they could travel more. Also, she got multiple suggestions about a four-day week work schedule and this is still under discussion.
Some of the suggestions were hikes, taking the kids to see the snow, visiting the “smelly mud pools” of Rotorua, getting a spa treatment in a natural spa, and swimming with dolphins are among the activities on the wishlist of many Kiwis who feature in Tourism New Zealand’s new domestic campaign.
Prime Minister Ardern has urged New Zealanders to travel at home and is considering more holidays to get people out, but operators say they won’t make up for the missing foreigners who bring about half of the industry’s NZ$16.1 billion (US$10.34 billion) annual income.
Last month Ardern launched the ski season in the South Island winter-sports hub of Queenstown and said the enthusiasm of residents and domestic tourists was a sign of hope but she acknowledged the pain.
“There is no denying that this region, with our borders closed, will feel a significant impact,” Ardern told reporters.
Australia-New Zealand-Pacific travel bubble clearly fits the new model. The tourism rebuild must involve all measures being taken to create a high-value, low-leakage and low-emissions tourism future.