Domestic tourism won't resume until COVID-19 alert level 1

Man hiking at Roys Peak, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand.
Hiking at Roys Peak, Lake Wanaka. Photo credit: Getty

There will be no allowance for domestic tourism for some time, it was revealed in details around the COVID-19 alert system by the New Zealand Government on Thursday.

Restrictions will remain on domestic travel right down COVID-19 alert level 1, with people being advised to minimise all non-essential travel even at level 2 and only essential travel being permitted under level 3.

Regional tourism operators are desperate to get back to work and will only be able to service domestic travellers while our borders remain closed to any overseas travel.

A spokesperson for the industry said the restrictions weren't surprising.

"While the tourism industry is keen to encourage domestic travel as soon as possible, protecting peoples' health must remain the priority for us all,"  Ann-Marie Johnson, communications manager of the Tourism Industry Association, told Newshub.

"The industry would not be expecting that there will be much non-essential domestic travel until life returns to near-normal so the level 1 guideline is not a surprise."

The Government says plans are being worked on to resuscitate the country's tourism industry which has collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, tourism Minister Kelvin Davis said industry leaders and the Government were working together on a post-coronavirus plan.

Davis asked Tourism New Zealand to work with the MBIE, the Department of Conservation and industry stakeholders to "reimagine" the future of tourism for both domestic and international travellers once travel gets underway again.