Interview with Michael Usher, Channel 7

  • Transcript
Subjects: Trans-Tasman bubble opening; Tourism Australia campaign.
07 April 2021

Michael Usher: Well, for more on the Trans-Tasman bubble, I'm joined by the Tourism Minister,

Dan Tehan:. Minister, good morning to you. Now, look, there's no doubt our tourism sector's been in pain for some time. Let's drill down to it - if I run a restaurant in Cairns right now, am I going to be relieved by this decision? Am I going to get Kiwi tourists quickly?

Dan Tehan: Absolutely you will, and we're going to help and do our part — we're launching a $3 million advertising campaign in New Zealand this coming Thursday. We want to make sure that the 1.4 million New Zealanders who visit Australia each year will come back, and the $1.6 billion they spend here in Australia will come back. And, as a matter of fact, we want to see more because we know New Zealanders have got nowhere else to go, so we want to get them here to Australia in record numbers, and get them spending record amounts of money.

And if they do that when they visit Cairns that means they'll be going out to the restaurants, they'll be going to the pubs, they'll be going out to the reef, they'll be seeing all the wonderful attractions, not only do we have in Cairns but right across this nation, and we're going to do our bit, we're going to be advertising in New Zealand, telling all those Kiwis: come here, come here and spend your money and spend big.

Michael Usher: Minister, I've got some confidence on our side of the ditch, New South Wales, Western Australia, Tasmania, for example, will remain open, not lock down a border too quickly to tourists, as such, but what about on the other side? We know that in New Zealand, the Prime Minister there has been very, very cautious and does lockdown just on one or two positive COVID infections. Will that knock confidence, that it is a cautious reopening?

Dan Tehan:: Well, obviously, they've taken their time to make this decision, and they wouldn't have taken it if they didn't think that this bubble is going to work. So, I've got a lot of confidence that this will work, and that what we're going to see is Australians going to New Zealand, but also a lot of New Zealanders coming to Australia, and especially with the knowledge now, they know that they won't have to do that two weeks quarantine when they return to New Zealand.

As I've said, I'm anticipating we can build on that 1.4 million Kiwis who come here every year and spend $1.6 billion. And that's why we're backing it with a $3 million Tourism Australia advertising campaign, which will start later this week.

Michael Usher: We're going to need more than New Zealand though, just to reopen to tourism and vice versa. What countries are you in talks with to set up a similar experience? Singapore, for example?

Dan Tehan:: So, New Zealand obviously is a great first step, but we do want to explore other options, but we'll have to do that consistent with the medical advice. I've had some discussions with my Singaporean counterpart about whether we could build on the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble, and get Singapore included in that, but we have to take our time and work through that. Obviously, it's dependent on the COVID situation in Singapore, here in New Zealand, as we work through things. But I'm very keen over time to build on this. We want to see as many options for Australians to be able to travel overseas as there are for people from overseas to be able to come here and visit the wonderful destinations that we have here in Australia.

Michael Usher: Indeed. Alright. We'll let you continue those talks with those other countries.

Dan Tehan:, the Tourism Minister, thank you.

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