NZ tourism towns 'full of hope' ahead of trans-Tasman bubble announcement

New Zealand's tourism towns are "full of hope" ahead of today's trans-Tasman bubble announcement. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to announce a date on Tuesday for when a bubble will open.

And for struggling tourism towns the bubble can't come soon enough. 

Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult told The AM Show it will be an "exciting day for the tourism mecca. 

"We are ready for it, we need it and if it comes late April [that's] really good, a good lead up to ski season… count us as seriously excited."

Boult said although Queenstown had a great Easter weekend, Kiwis flocked back to the cities on Monday leaving hotels nearly empty. 

"We've had a brilliant Easter. Kiwis voted with their feet and we had heaps of them here… I spoke to a hotelier last night and they are back down to 10 percent occupancy again. So it's great to have those long weekends and get people here but she's dire straits apart from that."

"This [trans-Tasman bubble) is an absolute must for us - businesses are going broke here. "

Mayor Steve Chadwick said Rotorua is also counting on Australian tourists to save struggling businesses. 

"We've had really tough times and it's really shown for us because Australia is a big part of our market."

"But we are really looking forward to this with a little bit of caution, you know, we've got to make sure we have all this regulatory stuff in place but it will save some tourists operators and rehire others and that's a great thing for us."

Chadwick said they've continued to advertise to Australians throughout the pandemic, and is hopeful they will head over when the bubble opens.

"We really want them to come here… and [we have] a huge focus on midweek and our mountain biking which is our new gold."

Chadwick said the Government's caution was appropriate but now the regulations are in place it's time to open the bubble. 

"None of us want to go back into lockdown but we will have to manage if there is an outbreak. I think the Government's caution was a good idea while we get all that regulation in place to be able to cope,' Chadwick said. 

"All of those things had to be out in place [and] we are confident that they are - so bring it on." 

 Boult agreed although he said he would have opened the bubble sooner. 

"They're right to be cautious, I would have done it earlier personally but hey I'm not running the country and I'm very happy to have it now. We are ready for it and there are contingency plans in place," he said.

The trans-Tasman bubble would allow Kiwis and Australians to travel between the countries without the need to quarantine. 

New Zealanders can visit some parts of Australia without quarantining on arrival but must pay for 14 days of managed isolation when they arrive home. The bubble would remove this requirement, allowing Kiwis and Aussies to travel freely between the countries.