New Zealand-Australia Travel Bubble Suspension Upsets Tourism Businesses

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  • TEMPO.COWellington - The eight-week pause in the travel bubble with Australia is having an immediate impact on New Zealand's hospitality and accommodation bookings.

    Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive Julie White said the suspension's impacts on the hospitality and accommodation sectors are being felt immediately, local media reported on Friday, July 23.

    "Hospitality operators' first priority is the safety of their people, community and whanau (family). Balancing the health risk and economic impacts comes at a cost to the hospitality and accommodation industry," said White.

    Quarantine free travel from all Australian states and territories to New Zealand is being suspended as the COVID-19 situation in Australia worsens.

    From 11:59 p.m. Friday, Australians will no longer be able to enter New Zealand quarantine-free. This will be in place for at least the next eight weeks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a press conference on Friday.

    "I am also concerned with the toll this is having on people in the industry, and the onset of COVID-fatigue," White said.

    Peter Wood and Susanne Wood who run a restaurant and a boutique conference facility in Methven, a town in the Canterbury region, said they received their first cancellation from booked Australian guests.

    Susanne said they expect many more cancellations to come.

    "We were pretty full over the next month because of school holidays across the Tasman," Susanne said. "Some of our guests from Australia are already in the country so their bookings aren't affected but those who aren't here yet will be cancelling."

    The Woods said they expect people who were planning to travel to Australia can travel within New Zealand instead. 

    Read: New Zealand to Resume Australia Travel Bubble