New Zealand drops pre-departure testing, boosting confidence as ski season kicks off
Travelers entering New Zealand from 11:59 p.m. on Monday June 20 will no longer be required to take a COVID test before departure – a move that has been widely welcomed by hotel and tourism businesses.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) hopes the move will encourage more travelers to visit New Zealand this ski season.
“Abolition of pre-departure testing will make it easier for potential visitors to choose New Zealand when determining where to vacation,” said TIA chief executive Rebecca Ingram.
“We are delighted to now be able to move into the next phase of recovery and confidently welcome more international manuhiri (visitors) to our shores.”
The news has been warmly welcomed by hotel industry owners and operators, including IHG Hotels and Resorts and Pro-invest Hotels, who have recently partnered with the opening of new hotels in Auckland – voco Auckland City Center and Holiday Inn Express Auckland City Center.
“We have just opened New Zealand’s tallest hotel development with voco Auckland and Holiday Inn Express Auckland, we are very pleased with the news,” said Fraser McKenzie, Regional Managing Director of Pro-invest New Zealand. HM.
“This is good news not only for us as a business, but also for the local tourism industry which has been pushing for this change. The full opening of borders will make it much easier for travelers to enter the country and arrive just in time for the Australian ski season and school holidays.
IHG – JAPAC VP Commercial Dean Jones also praised the government’s “thoughtful decision”.
“We have already seen a surge in demand for Australians traveling to New Zealand, and measures like this which remove barriers to travel are very welcome, especially with the announcement coming just in time for ski season,” Jones said. SM.
Accor Pacific recently introduced its Swiss-based upscale hotel brand Mövenpick to New Zealand. Chief executive Sarah Derry said the removal of the requirement is “good news” for New Zealand and for travellers.
“Guests looking for great experiences will find the choice and quality of accommodation in New Zealand to be world class,” said Derry. SM.
“It couldn’t have come at a better time for the industry and we know our loyal customers will be delighted, especially as the snow forecast is looking good.”
Minor Hotels, which has properties in Auckland, Queenstown and Wellington, described the move as “a positive step forward”.
“By making international travel to New Zealand as easy as possible, travelers will once again be instilled with confidence to book that holiday or business trip to New Zealand with minimized risk,” Minor Hotels Australia and New Zealand . Chief Operating Officer Craig Hooley said SM.
By the end of next month, the New Zealand border will be fully reopened to international travellers, three months earlier than originally planned.