There’s growing pressure on Queensland to join the trans-Tasman bubble in a bid to help boost the state’s battered tourism industry.
New Zealanders were last week given the green light to travel to New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the ACT without having to quarantine for two weeks.
South Australia announced on Tuesday that it would also allow Kiwis into the state.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
But Queensland is yet to budge, despite the low risk from across the ditch.
Two New Zealanders were forced into hotel quarantine in Queensland this week after flying into Sydney and then trying to enter the Sunshine State.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind says the New Zealand market is crucial to the state’s tourism industry.
“Last year, New Zealand holidaymakers contributed $250 million to the Queensland economy,” Mr Gschwind said.
“So they like coming here, they like spending money and we like having them here.”
According to Tourism Research Australia’s International Visitor Survey, New Zealand is the Gold Coast’s second biggest market for international visitors.
In the year ending June 2020, 929,000 Kiwis had visited the Gold Coast, which was down 27 per cent due to several months of COVID restrictions.
Last financial year, New Zealanders pumped $1.9 billion into the city’s economy.
Mr Gschwind says the entire state is missing out.
“We take the lion’s share of Kiwi visitors, holiday visitors to Australia and its complimentary product that New Zealanders enjoy.
“We have a lot of variety – the beaches on the Gold Coast, tropical north, the Whitsundays, we have a lot of product to offer them.
It’s also estimated that more than 50,000 New Zealanders call the Gold Coast home.