Destinations

Trans-Tasman travel bubble could start with ‘safe’ Australian states, says Ardern

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

New Zealand’s prime minister has told the country’s media that her government is willing to open the trans-Tasman travel ‘bubble’ to individual Australian states.

The change in thinking from Jacinda Ardern, who previously said all borders in Australia would likely open to one another before the bubble gets going, comes as some Australian states – including Queensland – continue to successfully combat COVID-19.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Ardern said that she was awaiting a response from Australia on its decision to operate the travel bubble nationally or state by state.

If states were to open up to New Zealand, Ardern said they would need to retain border controls for travellers within Australia in order to avoid travellers from coronavirus-effected states like Victoria coming to the Land of the Long White Cloud by a safer state.

“It comes down to decision-making by Australia itself. We’ve got our criteria for what we need to see – either as the country as a whole or state by state – in order to open up. Whether they choose to go state by state is a matter for them,” Ardern told The AM Show.

“If states continue to have their own border controls … then it is possible. But that’s actually Australia’s call, not ours.”

Despite last week’s comments by Australian Minister for Tourism Simon Birmingham that the travel bubble between the two countries could take-off by September, provided the coronavirus surge in Victoria is brought under control, Ardern refused to put a timeline on the trans-Tasman agreement.

Birmingham’s comments related to the bubble on a country-wide scale – a position favoured by the Commonwealth, according to the The Australian Financial Review – and came days before the NSW border with Victoria was officially closed on Wednesday, due to the latter state’s surge in cases.

Travel industry veteran and co-chair of the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum (ANZLF) Ann Sherry told AFR she could see a bubble working with “Queensland and one of the big population states like NSW”.

“The leaders of both countries are very keen to make it happen and I don’t think [Prime Minister Scott] Morrison is ready to throw in the towel on the bubble,” Sherry told the outlet.

“We have always said this bubble needs to go from September and we need to stick to that.

“If it drifts too long, it won’t happen and that will tear the guts out of tourism on both sides of the Tasman.”

The ANZLF is currently leading a proposal handed to Australia and New Zealand’s federal governments aiming for a September start date for quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel.

The group’s proposal includes the creation of “channels” at airports to keep Australian and New Zealand arrivals isolated and the minimisation of touchpoints between passengers, flight crew and airport staff.


Featured image source: Ministry of Justice of New Zealand

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Federal government relaxes JobKeeper eligibility requirements

Victorian businesses are breathing a sigh of relief after the government made some much-needed changes to the JobKeeper scheme.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Crystalbrook’s Byron at Byron makes five new leadership hires ahead of reopening

Proving there are still roles to be filled within the hospitality sector comes this major announcement from Crystalbrook.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

This travel agency diversified well before the pandemic, and now it’s looking to franchise

by Ali Coulton

A travel agency with a twist has taken the COVID-19 slowdown as an opportunity to breathe new life into its business.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

WATCH: Otter jumps onto tourist boat to escape killer whale

Just in case you feel like having your day brightened, here’s some footage of a very cute otter hiding on a tourist boat to avoid becoming a meal.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

New research reveals strong agent support for cruise industry

Agent support for the cruise industry remains strong, despite heavy restrictions, according to an ongoing survey series.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Aloha Friday Wrap: Virtual events aplenty, Hawaiian Airlines’ familiar new hire + MORE

Fridays aren’t the same without a bit of Aloha Spirit, so you can count yourselves lucky that we’re bringing you a wrap of all things Hawaii.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

The Hawaii hotel lowdown

Get caught up on everything that’s been happening lately among some of Hawaii’s most popular accommodation providers.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka joins Hawaiian Airlines board

Hawaiian Holdings, the parent company of Hawaiian Airlines has announced the addition of Former Jetstar Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka to its board of directors.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Get your clients in the aloha spirit with these virtual events

Just because your clients can’t visit Hawaii right now doesn’t mean they can’t partake in some of the festivities being hosted in the US island state.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld CEO pleased with investor feedback, as company completes $50m equity raising

Andrew Burnes has a bit of pep back in his step thanks to this latest vote of confidence from Helloworld’s investors.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

More than 100 jobs to go at Brisbane Airport

The cuts will account for, what would be by the end of 2020, a quarter of the company’s workforce.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Industry bodies back resilience of Victorian hoteliers, Lizard Island to reopen + MORE

Looking for some news to help you cure your winter blues? Sit back and let this week’s Hotel Wrap warm your bones.

Share

CommentComments