Hospitality New Zealand has welcomed the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble on April 19.

Chief Executive Julie White says it’s wonderful news for struggling hospitality businesses.

“Now it’s a matter of grasping every opportunity the expected influx of Australian visitors and Kiwis returning to visit family will bring their way.”

Julie White

White says Australians typically comprise the biggest chunk of New Zealand’s incoming visitor market, accounting for 39% and spending $2.7 billion in 2019.

“Though it would be too much to expect it to get back to anywhere near that level for quite some time, I’m optimistic this will be enough to save some of our hospitality businesses,” she says.

“Winter’s coming, and after many businesses suffered from a disappointing summer, telling us in a survey that lack of revenue was their number one issue, it’s crucial they grab every opportunity.”

White says the test will be to see if we can keep the bubble open.

“It’s time we learned to live with a bit of risk. We need to balance the health risk with the wider economic risk.”

She says Hospitality NZ welcomes the Government’s three-stage traffic light plan of ‘continue’, ‘pause’, and ‘suspend’ as part of learning to live with COVID.

“It’s crucial for businesses, families, and the wider economy that we accept some risk and stay open.”

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