State's $200m New Zealand travel windfall
Queensland will say kia ora to New Zealand and hello to an estimated $200 million tourism windfall over summer.
The State government's decision to allow the return of New Zealand travellers will come as an early Christmas present for the Queensland tourism industry, which counts Kiwis as our biggest international tourism market behind China.
Last year, New Zealanders injected $605.4 million into the state's economy with almost 500,000 Kiwis visiting the Sunshine State.
It equates to an average of more than $50 million a month, but summer is the peak holiday season with spending up considerably over the December-January holiday period.
In much the same way that holiday-starved Aussies have rushed to book summer getaways after months of COVID restrictions, tourism operators are optimistic that New Zealanders will follow suit to head across the ditch.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said the decision, coming hot on the heels of the move to allow Victorians and Sydneysiders back into the state, meant there was a new wave of optimism heading into the new year.
"It's a great start," he said.
"New Zealand is a hugely important market for us."
The Gold Coast is one of the most popular destinations for New Zealand travellers, while some 60,000 expat Kiwis live on the Glitter Strip, stimulating a significant market for visiting friends and relatives.
Gold Coast Airport chief operating officer Marion Charlton welcomed the decision to reopen the border to New Zealand, in line with what some other states have already done.
"This is an important step in re-establishing two-way, quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand," she said.
Originally published as Qld's $200m NZ travel windfall