Trans-Tasman bubble a beacon for offshore tourism and trade

05 May 2020 |

An Australian – New Zealand travel bubble is crucial to kick-starting the two economies, step-by-step, and would serve as a valuable model for wider border re-openings in the months ahead.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry welcomes discussions between Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on the concept of an Australia – New Zealand travel “bubble”.

ACCI will push for the “bubble” to include open, two-way movement of tourists, workers, migrants and goods.

“Over the coming weeks both Australia and New Zealand will be in a similar place in their control of COVID-19,  providing a great opportunity to move between the two countries to help to rebuild our economies,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.

“Australian business owners have done their best to hang on during this crisis, and instating this trans-Tasman travel bubble would go a long way to bolstering their confidence and providing new opportunities for growth.”

“We have been in touch with both the New Zealand Chambers of Commerce and BusinessNZ and look forward to working closely with our trans-Tasman counterparts to expedite business support.”

The Chair of ACCI’s tourism initiative, Australian Chamber – Tourism, John Hart said: “New Zealand is and always has been an important source of visitors to Australia.”

“Trans-Tasman visitation spans all of the aspects of tourism including leisure, business events, education and visiting friends and relatives.

“Tourism employs very large numbers of Australians and New Zealanders and getting these people back to work is very important to both economies.

“Furthermore, a large number of tourism operators have joint Australian and New Zealand businesses. These businesses restarting at the same time will provide efficiencies that are so vital in the post-COVID period.”

ACCI’s Director of Trade and International Affairs, Bryan Clark said governments must ensure the “bubble” extends to not only tourists, but also goods, services and the important workforce role Australian and New Zealand citizens play in both economies.

“Many Australian small businesses cut their teeth trading with New Zealand before venturing to more complex markets in Asia. These fledgling export-import businesses need this route reopened as soon as possible.

“If we can get people moving, to boost services industries, the same planes can also assist in providing the transport for goods.”

ACCI urges governments in Australia and New Zealand to continue to progress the bubble concept and to provide a timeframe for lifting the travel restrictions. Travel, tourism and hospitality operators as well as import and export providers, need to have advanced notice in order to plan.

In addition to opening up travel between Australia and New Zealand, ACCI supports a speedy opening of closed state borders and removal of domestic movement restrictions – identified as the highest priority issues for Australian tourism by the Australian Chamber-Tourism’s recently formed Tourism Restart Taskforce.

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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