The New Zealand Prime Minister’s announcement that borders will open to all international visa holders from 1 August is welcome news for the NZ business events industry.
Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins says this date delivers confidence to international event organisers to choose New Zealand as their conference, meeting, or incentive destination.
“New Zealand is really starting to gear up for the future and the announcements today help support this. We will have the infrastructure, the talent and the connections which will make the decision easy to win international conference and incentive travel business,” she says.
“We are pleased the Prime Minister has said she is confident that pre-departure testing will be removed by 31 July, as this will be the last piece in the puzzle for us,” she says.
“While New Zealand is still considered to be a highly desirable destination, customers are telling us they hope the Government will dispense with testing soon, as Australia and Singapore have done.”
BEIA has also welcomed the Government agreeing to temporarily exempt tourism and hospitality businesses from paying the median wage to recruit migrants on an Accredited Employer Work Visa, and instead, a lower wage threshold of $25 per hour will be required until April 2023.
“The decision to lower median wage levels for visa-holding staff is much-needed news for tourism and hospitality businesses struggling with the ongoing issue of finding staff and broadens the opportunity to recruit from offshore markets,” Hopkins says.
“The opening of New Zealand’s maritime border will have a positive impact for business events too. Cruise ships, particularly luxury ships, do provide options for the incentive market, but also reinvigorate ports of call with the injection of people and activity.
“Today’s announcement is the result of mahi (work) undertaken by many across the events, tourism, cruise and hospitality sector with support from Minister Stuart Nash. It is a good news day,” she says.