For the first time in more than two years, New Zealand’s borders have reopened to overseas tourists from 60 nations who have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash, in an interview with 1News, said the reopening of the border is critical to New Zealand’s economic recovery after the previous two years.
Currently, New Zealand recorded around 33,000 arrivals per week.
Nash said the changes in the opening of its borders to 60 other visa waiver countries “will further boost arrivals”.
Nash went on to say that interest in visiting New Zealand is still high, with foreign flight searches 19 percent higher than they were pre-Covid.
Carrie Hurihanganui, chief executive of Auckland Airport, said in another interview that the arrival of the first tourists was a milestone in their road to recovery.
In a joint statement, Nash and Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi described that the reopening has placed New Zealand back on the world map for international tourism and business travelers.
“The further phased opening up of New Zealand’s borders to visa waiver countries builds on earlier steps to welcome back overseas travelers,” Faafoi said.
In April, ahead of the school vacations, New Zealand welcomed vaccinated Australian tourists and some overseas students.
The list of 60 visa waiver countries has been published on New Zealand’s immigration website.
® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.