As pandemic rules eased in NZ, tourists are welcomed once again to the country
Published on : Monday, May 2, 2022
From the U.S., Canada, Britain, Japan and over 50 other countries New Zealand welcomed visitors for the first time two years on Monday after the country made its remaining pandemic border restrictions easy for everyone.
New Zealand is famous for its remarkable landscape and offerings related to adventure tourism like skiing and bungee jumping. Over 3 million tourists visited NZ every year before the COVID-19, accounting for 20% of the foreign income of the country and more than 5% of the overall economy.
However, in early 2020, international tourism stopped all in all after New Zealand inflicted stringent border restrictions.
The border rules remained intact as the NZ government followed a decisive plan of elimination and then tried to control the spread of the virus in a tighter manner. The spread of omicron and vaccinations of over 80% of 5 million populations of New Zealand encouraged the slow slackening of restrictions.
Almost three weeks back, New Zealand reopened to tourists from Australia. On Monday, NZ reopened to about 60 visa-waiver countries, including Europe. Still, majority of tourists from India, China and other non-waiver countries are not permitted to enter.
Before and after arriving, tourists will have to get vaccinated and test themselves for the virus.
“Today is a day to celebrate, and is a big moment in our reconnection with the world,” said Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.
Flights at Auckland Airport transporting tourists began landing from early morning, coming from places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.
Before New Zealand’s upcoming ski season, border reopening will help boost its tourism. However, the real test will come in December in terms of how much tourism industry has actually revived, when in the Southern Hemisphere countries the peak summer season starts.