The New Zealand tourism industry has expressed disappointment at the further delay in confirming Australian travel dates.

Thousands of keen travelers and tourism businesses ready to welcome them will be disappointed to learn they must wait until April 6 for guidance on when quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel might begin.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that an announcement will be made on April 6 regarding the commencement date for the trans-Tasman bubble.

Chris Roberts, CEO of TIA.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive, Chris Roberts says the industry was desperately keen to be given a date earlier this week. He remains hopeful that the bubble can be operating before the end of April.

“Our success in dealing with COVID, matched by Australia’s success, gives us this opportunity to reconnect our two nations.

“However, until they have a firm date, tourism operators cannot take bookings with confidence or scale up in terms of staff and services. It also delays marketing campaigns to the Aussies.

“TIA and its members accept that our borders must be opened safely, and they acknowledge that complex processes are involved. But discussions on what would need to be in place to allow the Tasman to re-open started almost immediately after our borders were closed a year ago,” says Mr Roberts.

“The intention was to get everything ready to go when the time was right. The health experts say trans-Tasman travel can now be done safely, so any delay is frustrating.

“Separated families want to know when they can be reunited, sporting teams when they can travel, and Kiwi tourism businesses when they will be able to welcome back Australian visitors.

“The Government’s announcement leaves them all in limbo until after Easter.”

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