Tourism New Zealand targets Australians with new winter campaign

Tourism New Zealand is putting the Government's $10 million funding package to use by targeting Australians with a new campaign.

Our neighbours across the ditch have been identified as the market best placed to alleviate the massive drop-off in Chinese visitors due to coronavirus which is costing $250 million a month.

Stephen England-Hall from Tourism New Zealand says it's important the new campaign featuring the New Zealand winter is put out quickly.

"Clearly the longer it goes on for and the more markets impacted by restrictions the worse it will be." 

But the new campaign could be in vain with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying on Tuesday afternoon she is not ruling out travel restrictions on Australians travelling here if the outbreak worsens.

"It's about constantly looking at the evidence and what's happening in those jurisdictions and making decisions as we go based on the evidence."

Some retailers could use the boost in business with many seeing a drop-off in sales, despite a massive spike with New Zealanders panic-buying over the weekend.

Greg Hartford from Retail New Zealand says: "We've heard of firms that have lost very very significant parts of their business and ultimately that's not going to be sustainable". 

But there could be good news for homeowners with many economists predicting cuts to the official cash rate meaning lower interest rates.

Informetrics economist Brad Olsen says: "The Reserve Bank possibly cutting up to 50 basis points off the official cash rate - that would bring down the dollar, that would also try and boost some of the confidence coming through to employers." 

The United States Federal Reserve is considering an emergency rates cut and the Australian Reserve Bank on Tuesday afternoon cut its official interest rates to a record low of 0.5.

Olsen says we need to take responsibility for our own economy by buying local and flying local. 

"It will be up to us at home to make sure we are still moving around, however if we do have a wider outbreak in New Zealand or we do have households that are scared to go out they are fearing that COVID-19 will spread then we will see that domestic market start to shrink."