— Travel n Tour

Australia, NZ prepare for travel bubble

Australia has stolen a march on New Zealand tourism authorities, swinging into action ahead of the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble. From Monday, New Zealand will join Australia in scrapping quarantine restrictions for travelers across the Tasman Sea.

That move will see a flood of separated families and friends reuniting more than a year after border closures.

Qantas, Jetstar, and Air New Zealand expect to fly about 10,000 people on trans-Tasman routes on Monday alone.

Restoring regular travel links also fires the starter’s gun in a battle for international tourism.

And on that front, Australia appears streets ahead.

Last week, Tourism Australia launched a $A3.1 million campaign for Kiwis, inviting them to “Be The First” international travelers back to Australia.

With splashes of Australiana like the “red carpet” of Uluru, Tasmanian seafood, and Quokka selfies, the campaign will run in print, radio, television, and outdoor advertising for the next three months.


Kiwi breakfast television will run segments live from New South Wales and South Australia over the next week, two states that will also run their advertising to lure Kiwis to their patch.

“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,” Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison said.

On the numbers, Australia is the favorite travel destination for Kiwis, with 1.4 million trips in 2019, bringing a total spend of $2.6 billion.

In 2019, 1.7 million Kiwis traveled overseas to other countries, and Ms. Harrison hopes to steer them to Australia.

“After a year of almost no international travel, there is a real opportunity for us to capture pent-up demand.”

Surprisingly, NZ is yet to launch a similar campaign.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash told AAP that NZ’s formal promotion would begin later this month.

“I’ve seen it. It’s a fantastic campaign. I think it will tickle the imagination in Australia and potential Australian tourists,” he said.

Mr. Nash ruled out following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who undertook a spree of Australian media interviews when she announced the opening of the bubble with a similar charm offensive.

“She’s well known over there. I think they’d go, Stuart Nash, who?” he said.

“From some of the research I’ve been privy to, many Australians are keen to move out and go on holiday, and New Zealand is the only place they can go.

“I’m hoping, though, they’ll translate that aspiration into action.”

NZ’s delay has some basis in strategy.

The country has two weeks of school holidays beginning on Monday, requiring haste from Australian authorities to make the most of their time off. And tourism experts on either side of the ditch believe most early flyers will likely be “VFR” – visiting friends and relatives – travelers who would have undertaken travel regardless. Both countries are targeting their campaigns toward regional places, where the slump has hardest hit in tourism.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

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