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$2 Billion Tourism Surge May Come From Trans-Tasman 'bubble'

New Zealand could soon receive an influx of Aussie tourists looking to scratch their travel itch, according to new research by Finder, a global comparison site that has recently launched in New Zealand.

With government talk around a trans-Tasman travel bubble amid global travel restrictions, Aussies who would usually travel to holiday hotspots like Indonesia might instead divert to New Zealand.

A Finder analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data revealed that over 1.5 million Aussies travelled to Indonesia in 2019. If just half this group visited New Zealand instead, this could pump $2 billion into the Kiwi economy.

Kevin McHugh, Finder’s publisher in New Zealand, said that this additional spike in tourism could be the extra help needed to boost the economy.

“The International Air Transport Association has forecast New Zealand’s GDP to drop by US$8 billion from lack of tourism.

“This means any opportunity to travel would kickstart much needed economic recovery.

“The trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ may even open up in time for snow season, and if that’s the case, we could see more Aussies headed to the slopes for a ski trip,” he said.

According to the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 1.5 million Australians travelled to New Zealand in 2019 alone, feeding $4.1 billion dollars into the Kiwi economy.

ABS data also shows that New Zealand remains the number one travel destination for Aussies, overtaking Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

McHugh urged Kiwis to opt for budget over business when planning their own trips.

“Kiwis suffering from a case of wanderlust might not be as price-sensitive, but remember, only spend within your means when booking and planning a holiday.

“We’re living in times of economic uncertainty, so it’s important to be more stringent with your travel budget.

“The price of plane tickets could go either way. Airlines might drop prices in a bid to entice Kiwis over the Tasman, or they might jack them up to recoup profits lost during lockdown,” he said.

Tips for travelling on a budget

  • Keep it local.

If the point of your trip is to spend quality time with loved ones, you can easily do so close to home. Rent out a property, take a road trip or visit a city that you’ve never been to before.

  • Look for deals.

Flight companies and booking sites may lower their prices in a bid to bag your business post-COVID. Keep an eye out for specials to cut down on your costs.

  • Spend within your means.

Stay somewhere with a kitchen so you can cook your own food. Try and use cash where possible and split accommodation costs with friends if possible.

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