Long-awaited commencement date of trans-Tasman bubble to be announced

The Government is set to announce the much-anticipated details of a travel bubble with Australia tomorrow, with all eyes focused on when that bubble may commence.

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1 NEWS understands the bubble could happen as early as the end of this week. Source: 1 NEWS

It would mean that people from both countries would no longer need to enter managed isolation for 14 days.

There have been rumblings the bubble may be commenced imminently. 1 NEWS reported last Thursday it was understood preparations were being made to open the bubble later this week.

Airports are already set up for the bubble, as are airlines and crew.

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Two weeks from now Kiwis will learn when quarantine-free travel across the ditch will resume. Source: 1 NEWS

Last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called quarantine-free travel with Australia a "key opportunity" for New Zealand.

"We know people want certainty ... about what the future looks like."

However, Ardern gave a warning to potential travellers, saying on both sides of the ditch there would be an "element of flyer-beware", should the borders shut while visiting Australia, or if Australians are in New Zealand.

She also added that New Zealand is looking at creating bubbles with particular Australian states, rather than a whole of Australia approach.

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The Prime Minister says the cases demonstrate why it’s important careful planning is done correctly. Source: 1 NEWS

"Our view is, rather than trying to work through a solution that sees all of Australia with New Zealand, that we can work through an arrangement that sees us operate in some states and not others."

A travel bubble with Australia would be invaluable to New Zealand's tourism industry, which has suffered since the outbreak of Covid-19.

In the year prior to July 2020 Australian visitors spent a massive $2.7 billion dollars in New Zealand, with an average holiday spend of $2651.

Prior to Covid-19, Australia was New Zealand’s largest international visitor market, accounting for almost half of all international visitor arrivals.

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Tourism New Zealand says the estimate is less than half of what Aussie tourists brought to the country in 2019, but still needed under the circumstances. Source: 1 NEWS

Queenstown has been one of the towns hardest hit by the border closures, and statistics show how an Australian bubble could roar its tourism industry back to life.

Before the outbreak, 53 per cent of Australian holiday makers flew direct to the South Island, while 71 per cent of all international visitors who skied in New Zealand were Australian.

Last month, Queenstown businesses pleaded for the bubble date to be announced.

Lou McDowell from Flame Bar and Grill said the uncertainty was taking its toll on the community.

“It's like crystal ball-gazing ... we don't know from one week to the next what the demand flow is going to be like.”

Fellow Queenstown tourism operator David Lynott said the bubble would be "massive" for tourism around the country.