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Travel between Australia and New Zealand to resume - Trans-Tasman Bubble

The road to recovery is being mapped out, it'll be a long journey and not without bumps...

The world has been shaken to its core by the coronavirus outbreak and the travel industry has been one of the hardest hit with international borders shut down and the aviation industry at a standstill. There are green shoots emerging however and recent discussions between Australia and New Zealand could see the countries agreeing to travel between the two countries as lockdown measures are eased.

trans-tasman-bubble

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been keen to stress that its borders will remain closed for “a long time to come”, however preliminary discussions have been had with the Australian government in relation to a ‘trans-Tasman bubble’ that could see travel between Australia, New Zealand and Tasmania resume shortly. Both sides are keen to stress that there is an awful lot of planning to be done, however given the position of both nations in relation to their coronavirus phase, resuming travel between the nations looks increasingly possible and will see the first locations to resume international tourism, albeit within the 'trans-Tasman bubble'.

Both Australia and New Zealand have seen relatively low numbers of coronavirus and their respective governments have been praised for early intervention and handling of the pandemic. And it seems this approach may see Australia and New Zealand be the first to return to a ‘new normal’ before any other nation.

Coronavirus cases in Australia and New Zealand compared to UK

Country
Population (million)
Cases
Deaths
Cases per million
Deaths per million
New Zealand
4.9
less than 1,500
20
306
4.1
Australia
25
less than 7,000
96
280
3.8
UK
66
191,000
28,734
2891
435.4

*Figures correct as of 05 May 2020, recorded cases based on confirmed cases and is subject to testing in each country

Tourism in New Zealand accounts for around 5.5% of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) amounting to around NZ$13bln, the benefits of its tourism industry are clear to see however it's keen to stress that this will only resume in a controlled manner and require constant monitoring.

Australians visiting New Zealand

  • 71% of Australians who visit New Zealand opt for self-drive holidays and rent a car
  • Over 1.5 million Australians visited New Zealand in 2019
  • Over 600,000 Australians holidayed in New Zealand in 2019
  • Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington Airport account for over 80% of all Australian arrivals

New Zealanders visiting Australia

  • Around 1 million New Zealanders visit Australia every year accounting for around 50% of international travel
  • Sydney, Melbourne, Brisabane and Perth are the most visited locations by New Zealanders
  • Around 23,000 New Zealanders visit Tasmania every year arriving into Hobart Airport
Trans-Tasman Bubble Australia New Zealand Tasmania

How will flights between Australia and New Zealand work?

There is little detail at this stage, however the governments have suggested that any quarantine requirements would be waived for visitors from either nation, meaning holidays could resume. Some airlines have suggested testing be required before any passengers would be allowed to travel and suggestions of leaving middle seats empty and only allowing passengers in every other row have been tabled. Such measures however would likely result in flights being uneconomically viable, or ticket prices out of reach of most.

australia new zealand tourism to resume
Phil Partridge
Posted: May 05, 2020 by Phil Partridge
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Tuesday, May 5, 2020
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