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Ski, bike tour operators say they'll get by with no Aussie visitors

The heads of NZ Ski and Better By Bike say they will get by while the trans-Tasman bubble is suspended for eight weeks

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NZ Ski's Paul Anderson and Better By Bike's Matt Hirst reckon they will weather the eight-week suspension of the trans-Tasman bubble. Source: Breakfast

The Government announced the suspension on Friday and said it would be reviewed in September. 

It came due to Australia grappling with outbreaks of the Covid Delta variant in New South Wales and other parts of the country. 

Paul Anderson, chief executive of NZ Ski, admitted to Breakfast the "real emotional rollercoaster" of the pandemic was continuing, but said 60 per cent of NZ Ski's market is Kiwis.

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Entire trans-Tasman travel bubble suspended for eight weeks

There had also been a solid start to the season due to school holidays in both Australia and New Zealand. 

However, Anderson did say he was hoping to keep his staff "busy enough" while the bubble was closed and told Kiwis it was "never a better time" than August and September to hit the slopes of The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Mt Hutt. 

Although Better By Bike's traditional market was Australia, Matt Hirst said it was the "right call" having the bubble closed. 

"For me it's more important having the health of family, friends and New Zealand."

He said in the wake of this, Better By Bike had adjusted its product to work with the domestic market and was getting by.

Queenstown (file picture). Source: istock.com

"We love having the Kiwis. It's actually been great fun having just Kiwis as our cyclists, with a bit of Aussies sprinkled in through there," Hirst said.

"It’s great and people are really letting us know we’re down here, we support you, and that makes us beam with joy really. We’re stoked to have Kiwis on board."

Like NZ Ski, Better By Bike had had a busy school holidays, with Hirst and his workers feeling "run to the bone a little bit".

"We'll see how it goes," he said.

"Hopefully September, once the bulk of the population is vaccinated, opening up the gates again might be an option."