Southland ready to welcome Australian visitors

17 Mar 2022


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The Government’s announcement that vaccinated Australians can enter New Zealand significantly earlier than anticipated is excellent news for Southland tourism operators.

Borders will open to Australian visitors from 13 April, in time for the school holidays (9 April – 25 April) and well ahead of the ski season.

Great South Chief Executive Graham Budd said this was both a relief and an excellent opportunity for Southland tourism operators to leverage off visitors to the slopes.

“Fiordland in particular is heavily reliant on international tourism, so to have two years without has been particularly tough.”

The Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) managed by Great South, Visit Fiordland and Visit Southland, had already been marketing to Australian holiday makers, which was an advantage Budd said.

“We have a campaign targeting Australians heading to Queenstown for the ski season, so when those travellers book, they will hopefully remember world-class Fiordland and Southland are only a day trip away.”

Plans for further international campaigns are also underway, with borders opening to other vaccinated visa-waiver travellers from 11.59pm on 1 May.

This includes taking the ‘You’re Due South’ campaign, which has been very successful domestically, to an international audience.

Both RTOs will also be represented at international tourism trade event Kiwi Link USA in July.

“There will of course be wider benefits for the Southland economy following today’s announcement, with increased travel also meaning greater ability to transport freight, having a positive effect on supply chains.

“All in all this is very good news for our region.”

Image: Onesimus Photography