Covid tests stifling travel and tourism sector

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NZ Airports, representing the nation’s airports sector, has repeated the call by Air New Zealand’s CEO Greg Foran for the Government to drop the need for travellers to take a Pre-Departure Test (PDT) before flying to New Zealand.

NZ Airports CEO Kevin Ward says the association wholeheartedly agrees with the call to drop PDT for inbound travel.

“New Zealand is increasingly out of step with other nations’ requirements on inbound travellers and, at this stage in the pandemic, the testing obligation is no longer a significant contributor in reducing covid’s impact in New Zealand,” says Ward.

“However, it certainly does have a negative impact on airline passengers’ willingness to travel here.”

Australia, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, and Fiji have all dropped the requirement for vaccinated travellers to have a pre-departure test. The UK and many parts of Europe have not had a testing requirement for some time.

New Zealand’s requirement for Pre-Departure Tests has a further negative impact on rebuilding the travel industry and is increasingly out of step, says Ward.

“As other countries drop their testing requirements, it is becoming harder for ordinary travellers in those countries to get the required tests done before flying to New Zealand,” he says.

“Re-building the New Zealand travel and tourism sector is not helped by an extra barrier for international tourists, particularly when the PDT requirement doesn’t appear to have an offsetting benefit.”

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