The last of the Covid-based travel restrictions have eventually been lifted in New Zealand.
The island nation reopened its borders fully for the first time on Monday.
This means all overseas visitors are now allowed to submit visa applications again.
Despite the country opening its borders again, Tourism New Zealand told EWN that she anticipates business picking up slowly compared to pre-Covid levels.
“The return of international tourism is expected to take time as people across the globe gain travel confidence.”
“Tourism New Zealand is working hard to encourage visitation form key markets to boost the recovery of tourism and support the country’s economy.”
During the 12 months before Covid struck in New Zealand, tourism brought in around US$25.7 million. The country hopes to eventually hit those targets again in the near future.
Tourism isn’t the only sector excited to reopen again. The education sector is hopeful that foreign students will be able to return like they did before Covid.
EWN reports that international students sued to bring in around $5 billion per year, making it New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner, but that figure plummeted in 2021.
Steven Hargreaves, principal at Auckland’s McClean College, shared the sector’s fears that it’s going to start accepting foreign students again, but this time on the backfoot.
“We’ve got a lot of catching up to do if we want to recapture what’s so important for New Zealand.”
Image credit: The New York Times