Jacinda Ardern refuses to open travel to Australia, says it's 'too risky'

On Friday Australia revealed Kiwis will be able to cross the ditch and enter the country without quarantine - but Aussies wanting to come here won't be so lucky.

Jacinda Ardern says she won't bow to pressure to open the travel bridge on our side, as it's still too risky. 

Tourism operators are fearful Kiwis that have been backing their backyards will jump at the chance to travel abroad and National thinks it's got the answer to keep us holidaying here

Bubbling away in the beautiful backwoods of Rotorua, Kiwis have been loving the hot pools run by Eric and Keith Kolver.

"As soon as Auckland came out of lockdown, we were back on the road again," Eric told Newshub.

The prospect of Kiwis having an option to holiday across the Tasman is frightening the tourism sector. 

"It'll impact us. It'll impact us of course," said Eric. 

Jacinda Ardern won't match Aussies deal - they can't come here.

"The reason for that decision for us is safety. In our view we are not ready to have quarantine-free travel with Australia," she said.

And if Australians can't come here, that means their cash can't either.

"We will not open the borders for quarantine-free travel with Australia until it is safe to do so, because doing it too early risks losing all the freedoms that we already have in our economy."

She's urging us to keep holidaying at home.

"I encourage New Zealanders to think about spending their dollars here locally."

National wants us thinking about next steps, and is promising to get our visitor numbers back to pre-COVID levels within five years. 

The party says it'll hold a New Zealand Tourism Festival next year - a series of events that showcase the best Aotearoa has to offer. 

It'll be modelled off the hugely successful Real New Zealand festival launched by then-Prime Minister John Key for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Festivals would be able to apply for Lotteries Commission funding, and there will be a central hub for people to plan their festival fun.