Australian skiers book hotels

The ski season could soon begin under Level 2 restrictions. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Australian tourists hoping for a ski season in the South Island are already making bookings and inquiries at hotels.

Novotel Queenstown Lakeside general manager Jim Moore said he had seen "encouraging signs".

"We are getting quite a bit of interest from Australia, but it depends when and if the bubble is merged.

"Quite a few for July and August. July is probably being a bit optimistic but it will be interesting to see when things open up."

Many hotels in the area have offered flexible bookings, so rooms could be cancelled without a penalty if travel was prohibited, he said.

"There’s probably not a better time to come to Queenstown in terms of good pricing and it being a little bit quieter for the people who don’t necessarily enjoy the crowds."

Millbrook Resort operations manager Brian Howie said Australians had also made inquiries to stay at the upmarket Arrowtown destination.

The business has also proved a hit with locals using the golf course and spa.

"We have a lot of interest for the Queen’s Birthday weekend holiday, which is great. It’s really encouraging."

The Rees Hotel on Frankton Rd has seen "quite good for July" bookings, but "very good for August", owner Mark Rose said.

Bookings were still below where they were last year, but Mr Rose forecasted a good September to coincide with the Australian school holidays, provided the transtasman bubble was in place.

Mr Rose had also seen interest from Asia and American tourists had booked rooms for next year.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison previously said a transtasman bubble could be in place in July, but the New Zealand Government has not committed to a timeframe.

Australia’s high commissioner to Fiji, John Feakes, has said he is pushing for the archipelago to be included in the shared bubble arrangement.







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