Businesses not banking on sudden influx when bubble opens

The Royal Albatross Centre is not expecting a large immediate increase in Australian visitors...
The Royal Albatross Centre is not expecting a large immediate increase in Australian visitors when the travel bubble opens. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Dunedin businesses expect it will take some time for the Australian visitor market to build up steam after the travel bubble opens.

Royal Albatross Centre ecotourism manager Hoani Langsbury said he was looking forwards to Australian visitors arriving after the transtasman bubble opens on Monday, allowing quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia.

Staff at the centre on Otago Peninsula would be ready for any increase in business, but he was not expecting it to be large.

Mr Langsbury believed it might take up to three months for tourism to increase significantly.

Accommodation providers also predicted a slow build-up.

Otago Motel Association president Alex Greenan was not aware of any increased demand for accomodation around the city and did not predict a huge number of tourists would come to Dunedin straight away.

Most would be flying into Queenstown and Christchurch first instead, he said.

There was a possibility of an overflow of tourists who visited Queenstown first, but there was no way to be sure.

Larnach Castle marketing and public relations manager Deborah Price said there had been a small amount of interest from Australia in visiting the attraction, and a few bookings had been made for accomodation.

It seemed at this stage that people were booking to visit family and building a short holiday into it, she said.

Some group tours of the castle had been pre-sold, but their timing was not yet confirmed.

Dunedin i-Site manager Louise van de Vlierd said it was not taking lots of calls from Australia.

That was perhaps not surprising as visitors usually came to the i-Site in person, she said.

She thought most travellers would be visiting friends and family to begin with, so it was unlikely accommodation would be at a premium.

The i-Site was ready to accommodate any extra traffic just as it usually adjusted for busy seasons.

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