9 August 2022

Boost to education and tourism as NZ’s border fully opens

The education and tourism sectors are expected to get a big-boost with New Zealand’s border fully opening to all visitors, students and cruise ships from midnight today after 28 months of closure due to Covid-19.

The border would be fully reopened at 11.59pm on July 31 to all visitors, including from non-visa waiver countries, and this marks the final step in the Government’s reconnecting plan, Tourism Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Michael Wood announced.

“Since April, visitors from our key markets such as Australia have been able to travel to New Zealand, and it’s great to see the recovery of the tourism sector back on track…Today’s change in border settings marks the final milestone for our reconnecting strategy. This is great news to the tourism industry and economy as we approach spring and summer with people from the Northern hemisphere booking their winter holidays,” Stuart Nash said.

Today also marks the opening of the maritime border to cruise ships, specialist vessels and recreational vessels such as ocean-going yachts.

“The return of cruise ships is another boost for local communities. Pre-pandemic their visits were worth in excess of $500 million a year, of which $356 million was spent onshore, providing a valuable economic contribution to our regions.”

Michael Wood said the changes in border settings today meant the resumption of key visa categories including students and visitors.

“Now that our borders are fully open, individuals who are coming to New Zealand to work will primarily use the Accredited Employer Work Visa, which opened on 4 July, to enter the country,” Michael Wood said.  

“Prior to the pandemic, the international education sector was worth several billion dollars to our country and education providers. While we’ve continued to support the sector with border exceptions through the pandemic, the full resumption of visa processing is great news for our universities, polytechnics and wānanga, and schools, English language schools, and private training establishments.

“As we warmly welcome the world back to our shores, it’s the perfect time to showcase New Zealand to the world,” Michael Wood said.  

Tourism makes a huge contribution to New Zealand economy. Prior to Covid-19, total tourism expenditure was $41.9 billion – $115 million per day, according to Tourism Industry Aotearoa(TIA). This had declined to $26.1 billion for year to March 2021.

One thought on “Boost to education and tourism as NZ’s border fully opens

  1. Too late now for students to come. Keeping NZ shut for 2+ years is longest period for any other country. Plus settling permanently becoming more difficult. Alternate options, like Canada are available now.

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