US Reporter

After Years of Strict Lockdowns, New Zealand Revives Tourism Sector, Opens Borders

Photo Credit: Dean Purcell / NZH

New Zealand, one of the tightest nations with Covid lockdown regulations, has stated that it will once again welcome visitors.

As of now, all international travel into and out of New Zealand has resumed, according to authorities. Despite promising to open its borders later this year, the New Zealand government has opted to do so three months earlier.

A small number of nations, notably Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, had access to New Zealand in the early months of 2022. After verifying just one incidence within its borders a year ago, the government enacted the toughest Covid lockdown rules. Following that, the New Zealand government carried out a series of tests and established health regulations that promptly corrected the problem.

Auckland, the biggest metropolis in the nation, was infiltrated by the Covid delta variant. The national government imposed a 107-day lockdown on the city in response to the breach, which ended in December 2021.

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Even with the announcement, travelers must still comply with mounting requirements. Here are some things to consider before visiting New Zealand.

Rules to know

The first requirement for visitors is proof that they have been vaccinated. Except for New Zealanders and Australians living in the country, this is a requirement. More information is available on the government’s website.

Both electronic and paper vaccination cards are accepted.

The New Zealand Ministry of Health also stated that visitors must have a quick antigen test done on the day of arrival, albeit it isn’t often done right away when a traveler arrives at the airport. Five to six days following entrance, a second antigen test will also be carried out.

The authorities do not mandate masks for outdoor walking. People must wear one, though, in enclosed areas like stores, museums, and pharmacies.

Best time to visit New Zealand

Product prices in the nation have increased as a result of inflationary rates. According to Navigate Travel, costs for activities, tours, and some lodgings have decreased from before the pandemic to current levels despite the country’s inflation rate of 7.3 percent.

″(A holiday in) New Zealand’s very cheap at the moment … Other than air travel, there’s never been a cheaper time to come, said Daniel Painter, the managing director of Navigate Travel.

The country’s tourism department reports a sharp rise in the algorithm for online searches related to travel to New Zealand. According to Gregg Wafelbakker, general manager of Tourism New Zealand, online searches for international flights to New Zealand have been up 39 percent since the news was made, compared to pre-Covid searches.

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Jeremiah Wong, the senior marketing communications manager of Chan Brothers Travel, said, “Travel demand to New Zealand has been healthy ever since the borders [reopened] to Singaporeans in May. However, due to flight availability, we do observe demand outstripping supply.”

Longer stay periods for travelers

Because of the lockdown protocols it has imposed over the years, New Zealand has long been crossed off the list of many tourists. However, now that it is open to the public, bookings have begun to come in – and they are for longer stays.

“An eight-day New Zealand tour was a popular choice before the pandemic, but we are currently seeing more interest and bookings for our 11-day tour that allows travelers to take in the sights at a more relaxed pace,” Wong added.

Tourists “want the ability to be able to relax and not have to worry about things, but they also want to be able to get lots of bang for their buck,” Navigate Travel explained.

Thousands of travelers expressed their happiness with New Zealand’s decision to restart its tourism industry.

Source: CNBC

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.