A quarantine-free bubble with Australia is good news for Queenstown and Southern Lakes as Aussies hop across the Ditch to experience all that the region has to offer.
Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says the re-opening of a trans-Tasman bubble on 19 April will be a welcome boost for Queenstown and places in the wider region, such as Wanaka and Fiordland.
“We know the region has done it tough during COVID-19 and the bubble will connect the region to thousands of potential Australian tourists and business travellers.
“Our regional centres around New Zealand will benefit from a trans-Tasman bubble. In 2019, we flew around 75,300 passengers from Australia to and from Queenstown, underlining the importance of trans-Tasman tourism to places like Queenstown and Southern Lakes.
“This was just passengers who booked directly through to Queenstown. There will be many more who flew on to Queenstown on a separate regional flight after a stopover in the main centres or took other transport. But it demonstrates the potential trans-Tasman tourism offers for regional operators and local businesses looking for a boost after COVID-19.
“In the days following the bubble announcement, we saw tens of thousands of customers book flights to Aotearoa and we expect many of them to visit places like Queenstown, Wanaka and Fiordland.”
According to MBIE, Australian tourists and business travellers spent $665 million in the wider Queenstown region in 2019, providing much-needed jobs and livelihoods.
“New Zealand has one of the best domestic networks in the world, and a key benefit is connecting regions like Queenstown with trans-Tasman routes,” says Ms Geraghty.
“Queenstown communities are vital to Air New Zealand and we recognise we play a critical role in connecting regional New Zealand to loved ones, business opportunities, and to regional growth and employment through tourism.
“We’re looking forward to a bumper season and bringing much-needed Aussie visitors to regional New Zealand.”