The tourism industry has warmly welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister that the opening date for visa-required travellers to enter New Zealand is being brought forward to 31 July 2022 – and that pre-departure testing will be dropped by the same date.
This announcement gives travellers from markets like China and India the confidence to book their trips to New Zealand when they are able to travel.
The reopening of the maritime border at the same time is also welcome and means cruise lines can start confirming port calls and preparing ships with certainty for the 2022-23 season. This will support regions across New Zealand where cruise is an important component of their tourism economy.
As the borders reopen, the industry is seeking great people who are passionate about New Zealand to provide amazing experiences. Removing barriers to recruiting staff from overseas when a suitable New Zealander cannot be found will be pivotal to the industry’s recovery.
Offering a great visitor experience is critical to New Zealand’s reputation as a destination.
We appreciate additional measures to support the tourism industry announced, in particular the Government’s decision to phase in the median wage requirement for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa. This will give tourism operators time to get their businesses healthy again while rebuilding the workforce.
TIA advocated for a phased approach of the wage requirement, citing the overall position of the tourism industry and the need for trading confidence to return. A number of TIA stakeholders are already paying median wage for some skilled roles. Many are also working towards or currently paying the Living Wage of $22.75.