It’s the end of 2020 and what a year it has been. Good riddance! Who would have thought we would be here a year ago? We wrote about it on our travel blog, but hopefully by December, 2021 many of you will be on the tee box on a beautiful course in the Antipodes.
As we look forward to next year this post make our predictions for when you may visit New Zealand and a few notes as to what is happening currently. However, our caveat is that our guesses are only that... at least until we begin to have dates from the New Zealand government.
We will continue to try and keep our blog up to date. However, there will be light at the end of the tunne soonl. If interested to visit and golf New Zealand please do reach out!
Prediction: Tran-Tasman bubble between NZ and Australia will open fully in March 2021
We look to small steps for signs of New Zealand opening- with the litmus test being what the country does with Australia. There was a lot of hope that a trans-Tasman “bubble” would save tourism for the 2020/21 season. Aussies represent a large portion of international visitors. However, in reality this bubble has been one-way. Kiwis are indeed allowed to travel to Australia, but upon returning still need to undergo quarantine for 2 weeks in a hotel.
Most of the travel between these countries has thus been limited. Australia is a much larger country and has their own plans for opening borders between states. The latest estimate within the industry to a true bubble over the Tasman is March to mid-2021. The customs and clearing processes would then be applied to more countries later in 2021.
Prediction: The NZ border will be open in October/November 2021
As of today the border is only open to New Zealanders returning to the country. Under special permission there are movies being made (with people semi-permanently living in NZ) however anyone entering New Zealand is required to undergo two weeks of quarantine in government-identified hotel!?!
There are currently no preliminary dates as to when the country hopes to open, however New Zealand has purchased 1.5 million doses of a vaccine for its citizens. As vaccines become more available in the USA this Spring (March/April) there could be a method to registering if someone has been vaccinated.
Prediction: A new Tourism Minister means good things
Last month (November 2020) the New Zealand government made a much needed change with the appointment of Stuart Nash as Tourism Minister. In one of his early addresses to the industry, Minister Nash stated he had no intention of returning NZ tourism to the way it was in 2019. This may come as a surprise to some, but many of us in the industry welcomed this news very much!
New Zealand is a very special place and we feel it should be kept that way. One does not need to look far to see the trend of over-tourism globally (see Machu Picchu, Bali, and Venice in peak season). For a number of years the country centered upon attracting the most visitors possible in a given year. Damned the pressure on the country’s limited infrastructure. Damned the environment. More! More! More!
It was a strategy which was contrary to the experiences that the Best of New Zealand delivers. We focus on quality operators that serve private and small groups. We prefer Kiwi-run and hosted accommodations wherever possible. Authenticity is always top of mind! It simply makes a better trip when it’s personal. So, the country’s trend toward serving larger tour groups was a concern for us- as it became more difficult to guide our clients away from places inundated with large tour buses, cruises, etc.
You are valued in New Zealand and the country is realizing it.
Prediction: New Zealand Hospitality in 2021/22
It’s not news that 2020 has seen many businesses in tourism struggle. In preparation for the future, our goal is to understand which properties, operators and partners will be available and ready when you choose to visit. Has the offering changed? Will the quality be the same?
Golf in New Zealand is only improving- with work being done on new courses and improving the experience both on and off the course. Our job is to sort through shifts in the market (drivers, tour providers, etc) and deliver you the right individuals at price points that deliver best value.
Having shifted to serve the New Zealand market in 2020/21, our estimate is that we will likely not have pricing for the 2021/22 season until April/May of 2021. So, planning early will allow our team to deliver the most preferred locations and experiences.
Until then- nobody is on top of it more than our team! We are happy to register your interest and help to begin on higher-level details!
The Best of New Zealand