Put SA regions first – NZ ‘bubble’ a way off
TOURISM Minister Simon Birmingham has ramped up calls for South Australians to holiday at home when travel bans are eased.
The push comes as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, pictured, discussed a potential “Trans-Tasman bubble” with leaders at yesterday’s national Cabinet.
Establishing a safe-travel zone between the two nations would be mutually beneficial, according to Scott Morrison. But the Prime Minisers said it was “some time away”. The decision to open international borders will be determined by public health advice, SA’s Senator Birmingham told The Advertiser. “We enjoy close ties with our Kiwi cousins and they will continue to be an important tourism market,” he said.
“But once travel is allowed, I’ll be encouraging Australians to support local tourism jobs by choosing to holiday in amazing destinations like South Australia.”
Premier Steven Marshall has made clear his intentions to reinstate regional travel. later allowed. South Australians spent $230 million in holidays to New Zealand last year.
But only three per cent, or $45 million, of total New Zealand visitor spend was made in SA last year, Tourism Research Australia data shows.
Despite this, SA Tourism Industry Council chief Shaun de Bruyn said New Zealand was a strong market for economic activity. “Many tourism businesses look after a lot of New Zealand visitors,” he said.
An Adelaide Airport spokesman said it was in talks with Air New Zealand about how its four flights a week might resume once restrictions are lifted. Mr Morrison said reconnecting with neighbours was the start of the road back to global travel, and would coincide with flights like Melbourne to Cairns.
He said “hopefully by the end of term two holidays”, people may be given the green light for travel interstate.
Ms Ardern said: “When we feel comfortable and confident that we both won’t receive cases from Australia, but equally that we won’t export them, then that will be the time to move”. Travellers should not expect to be forced into two-week quarantine periods when flights restart, she said.