New Zealand’s Tourism Industry Aotearoa organisation has revealed that more people have entered New Zealand than have left since the opening of the trans- Tasman bubble.

Since the first flight from Australia to New Zealand took off from Sydney to Auckland on 19 April, the two-way Tasman travel arrangement has been in New Zealand’s favour on a ratio of 3 to 2.

Daily movements across the border data tracked by Stats NZ shows that in the first nine days of the bubble, New Zealand welcomed over 30,000 international arrivals, with just over 20,000 people departing over the same period.

Most of the arrivals and departures travelled between New Zealand and Australia quarantine-free.

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts said that while these early numbers are promising, the highest number of arrivals were on the first two days, as friends and family were reunited, adding, “It was incredibly moving to see friends and family reconnecting those first momentous days of the borders reopening,” says Mr Roberts. “Hopefully, the early success of the bubble will give people confidence to travel for leisure”, and “Many of our Australian neighbours will be needing an adventure by now, and it’s great to see some are already heading over to enjoy themselves.”

However, Mr Roberts says the volume is a long way below normal traffic movements, saying, “Over the same nine days in 2019, there were 177,000 arrivals into New Zealand and 191,000 departures.”

A report by John Alwyn-Jones