Pic Credit: theconversation
Locals in the Northern Territories have accepted the news that within a fortnight they might expect tourists from across the Tasman, but the Territorians would have to wait a little longer to return the favour and visit New Zealand.
For Neil and Donna Linklater, however, the announcement yesterday was extra sweet.
The family of my mum is in Christchurch, and it’s been painful for my mum not to be able to see her family. She’s in her 80s, said Ms. Linklater. Having a family is going to be a massive relief. It’s going to be great. She’s going to be really happy, she added.
Mr. Linklater said, “We would love to see the Kiwis here.
We’re a little concerned about new arrivals, but we’re fortunate, not the Kiwis. We don’t want to risk that.
Yesterday, the Australian and NZ Governments signed an agreement that would encourage individuals to fly from New Zealand to New South Wales and the quarantine-free NT with flights connecting the two nations starting in two weeks, on October 16.
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, said it was still too early to let 5 million Australians into the country, suggesting that the trip would be one-way.
The Federal Government has said that the plan merely steps one in a more expansive travel bubble, which, due to international circumstances, will slowly be enforced.
Hospitality NT CEO Alex Bruce said the industry was grateful to have weathered the coronavirus pandemic so far without the extreme lockdowns seen in Victoria, and the news will help generate more jobs.
It’s another promising phase in the Territory’s return, it’s very good news. We look forward to hosting Sydneysiders and now we want to tell kia ora to all of our friends and relatives in New Zealand, we would love to come up and join us, “said Mr. Bruce.”
Hospitality NT reported that just 10 to 15% of the normal number of visitors going to the NT saw the 2020 peak dry season, so the possibility of any arrivals from New Zealand was good news.
Where we are, we’re extremely blessed right now, we don’t take the love of locals for granted, and if we will start attracting more visitors from safe areas to come and visit us up here in the territory, you’re going to see more jobs, you’re going to see more companies rebound and we’re very excited.
In the past, before coronavirus, the NT had annually drawn over 10,000 visitors from New Zealand each year, Mr. Bruce said.
The figures I’ve seen are as many as 13,000 trips a year to the territory, so it’s not to be sniffed at and we’d love to say hello, we’re safe, come and join us.
Operator Paul Palmer of Cavanagh Hotel said the arrivals would be ideal for companies that have undergone a consumer slowdown.
We believe that the health recommendations we got from the government were excellent for our sector, Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie, “Mr. Palmer said.”
I think New Zealanders want to come to the tropics because of the environment they live in. It’s amazing, we’re the safest place in the world, we’re more and more available to ourselves.