I am so stoked to see the impact the trans-Tasman bubble is already having on businesses here in New Zealand.
All the bookings from Australia have already started, and businesses are already hiring more staff.
House of Travel’s planning to rehire agents to deal with the influx of bookings they’re getting. NZ Ski needs 200-300 staff for the ski season. Air New Zealand’s rehiring more than 340 cabin crew.
Some Queenstown hotels reckon there’s been such a flurry form Australia their rooms are close to booked in the first week of the bubble. Air New Zealand reckons several thousand Australians have booked flights to Queenstown already.
This is potentially lifesaving stuff for some of these businesses and tourism destinations.
Obviously we have to temper our expectations about the impact of the bubble. The best case scenario seems to be that Australians spend a billion dollars here before year’s end but we can’t be sure.
That’s because we just don’t know how many of them actually want to go travelling. Much like many kiwis, there’s always the chance they might feel safer at home - but so far the signs are good.
Yes I know the bubble could’ve happened earlier, the Australians have been doing it for five months already, the government clearly didn’t want to say yes to this.
And clearly we’ve got a battle on our hands to get them to say yes to a raft of other common sense things that will also save businesses.
I’m taking heart from this because the first step into new territory is always the hardest.
The government’s taken that first step into the recovery mode now, and apart from coming out of that first lockdown, yesterday was the best news our country’s had since the start of this pandemic.