Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Advisory group says Australia-New Zealand travel bubble could be in place in months

Advisory group says Australia-New Zealand travel bubble could be in place in months
May 28, 2020

The plan for a ‘Trans-Tasman bubble’ to allow Australians and New Zealanders to travel between the two countries could be presented to both governments as early as next week, and could be operational by September, the expert working group behind the proposal has advised.

With the governments of both nations having been discussing the possibility of a ‘travel bubble’ between the countries as both have - to date - slowed the spread of COVID-19, to levels well below those seen in the United States and Europe.

On Wednesday, the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said in conversations with her Australian counterpart Scott Morrison there was enthusiasm from both sides for travel to resume.

Prime Minister Ardern stated “we are working to move on this as quickly as we can. We are both very keen on it ... across both sides of the ditch.

“It won’t be too long before we are ready.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to “consider” establishing the safe travel zone in July as part of the federal government’s third phase of easing travel restrictions.

The Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group - a 40-strong advisory panel which includes representatives made up of 11 government agencies, six airports and two airlines, health experts and border agencies - has been working on a detailed proposal to allow the two countries to re-open their borders with each other.

It says it will be ready to present the plan to both governments in “early June”.

Co-chair of the group, Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) Chief Executive Margy Osmond, said a national survey conducted by the TTF showed Australians were keen to travel again once restrictions were eased, particularly domestic and short-haul international travel.

Osmond advised “not surprisingly New Zealand tops the list of countries people would like to visit and they consider it no more risky than travelling interstate.

“This is a strong endorsement of plans for a Trans-Tasman bubble allowing travel between the two countries and we would be expecting that to commence as early as September.”

Australians represent largest segment of incoming visitors to New Zealand, accounting for 40% of all foreign arrivals. Similarly, Australia is the most popular destination for New Zealanders travelling overseas.

Industry group Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) has welcomed the development, with Chief Executive Chris Roberts commenting “it’s great to see the progress being made to open the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

“TIA has had representation on one of the work streams leading this project, and a very robust proposal is being brought together.

“Officials and ministers will need to respond quickly, as every day matters for businesses who need access to customers, and for family and friends wanting to connect.

“The sooner we can safely welcome our Australian visitors again, the more jobs and businesses we will save across New Zealand.”

Fiji has also indicated it wants to join the potential Australasia travel bubble in an effort to restart its tourism sector.

With its economy hugely dependent on tourism, Fiji’s Attorney-General and Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum told the Australian Financial Review earlier this week that the nation has had a very low number of Coronavirus cases, recording its last infection a month ago.

Minister Aiyaz stated “we embarked on the largest health mobilisation campaign in Fijian history, with nearly 95% of our population screened by medical teams going door to door to take temperatures and check for symptoms.

“A travel bubble that includes Fiji alongside Australia and New Zealand would do far more good than any aid or assistance.”

Images: Air New Zealand (top) and TTF's MArgy Osmond (below).

Related Articles

28th May 2020 - TTA keen for focus on Vocational Training Skills to be extended to tourism and hospitality industry

26th May 2020 - Call for JobKeeper underspend to be allocated to revive Australian tourism

26th May 2020 - Australian tourism industry requires ‘complete overhaul’ to succeed

14th May 2020 - Go with Tourism brings back free job connector service

13th May 2020 - UNWTO says international tourism faces worst crisis since records began

13th May 2020 - Survival package unveiled for Victorian sport, tourism and creative industries

13th May 2020 - ATEC highlights the harsh reality of a tourism industry in crisis

11th May 2020 - Tourism Industry Aotearoa happy about limited easing of COVID-19 restrictions

11th May 2020 - Tourism Council WA welcomes tourism recovery guidelines

11th May 2020 - 1breadcrumb app offers tourism and sporting industries a digital solution post COVID-19

9th May 2020 - Queensland Tourism Industry Council welcomes recovery guidelines

8th May 2020 - New Zealand tourism industry returns to work at Coronavirus Alert Level 2

7th May 2020 - World Expeditions backs concept of Trans-Tasman tourism bubble

6th May 2020 - Tourism businesses in Commonwealth National Parks to receive financial relief

5th May 2020 - Tourism Rebound Taskforce established for Northern Territory

30th April 2020 - ATEC part of new Tourism Restart Taskforce to strengthen industry COVID-19 response

30th April 2020 - Queenstown-based tourism operators collaborate to survive COVID-19

29th April 2020 - Tourism and Events Industry encourages Australians to download and use COVIDSafe app

27th April 2020 - Tourism Australia revises Business Events Advance Program to support industry in COVID-19 recovery

27th April 2020 - VTIC welcomes new emergency funding for tourism industry        

22nd April 2020 - ATEC considers diverse and competitive airlines to be critical to Australian tourism

4th February 2016 - Australia contributes highest visitation to Fiji in 2015

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology



With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Technology



Email for trade enquiries:  Customer support desk - Click Myzone support or go to ‘help’ on myzone app to access live support. Myzone® is the leading…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness


Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues



Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport


ProSlide Technology

ProSlide is the global leader in water ride design and manufacturing, supplying high-performance water attractions to new and expanding water parks around the world. For over three decades, ProSlide…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business