Tourism Holdings is seeing a pick up in demand in Australia and the US, but warns self-isolation requirements in New Zealand are hindering the return of international travellers to this country.
Campervan company Tourism Holdings says demand from international travellers is picking up in its United States and Australian markets, but New Zealand’s self-isolation requirements are hindering the return of international travellers to this country.
Chief executive Grant Webster said the company is excited about the opportunities with international travellers already visiting the US and starting to book for Australia, but the fact that New Zealand has no certainty on the removal of self-isolation requirements is “frustrating”.
Tourism Holdings, which makes, rents, and sells campervans, said the Government’s recent border announcements, including ongoing self-isolation periods, mean that international leisure travel to New Zealand remains uncertain.
“We expect that the self-isolation requirements will be dropped some time mid-year, however that may be too late to ignite significant long-haul travel for the 2022/2023 summer season,” the company said in presentation notes to investors accompanying its first-half earnings result.
New Zealand’s border is opening gradually from Sunday. All of those who travel still need a negative pre-departure test; to be vaccinated; and they’ll need to self-isolate and do two rapid antigen tests.
* Dismay for NZ tourism industry as Australia opens its border
* Border reopening: What you need to know about overseas travel
* ‘It’s a market killer’: Self-isolation must go if NZ wants to retain air links, aviation groups say
The Covid-19 pandemic has proven the biggest single challenge in the history of Tourism Holdings as border closures wiped out the international travel market that underpins its business. Last year, the company had its first annual loss in 10 years and it’s expecting to post another loss this year as Covid-19 travel restrictions bite. It posted a $4.4 million loss in the first half of this financial year.
The Detail looks at how tourism businesses are coping as the upheaval and uncertainty of Covid drags on, and the “reset” that will bring a new kind of visitor. (First published February 1, 2022)
Tourism Holdings said that recent government announcements in Australia about opening the border for international travel, including Western Australia, was “very positive”.
“We have an expectation that both domestic and international travel will be well up on recent activity from March onwards,” the company said. Still, it was difficult to predict international demand relative to pre-Covid levels, it said.
In the US, international interest and early forward bookings for the summer were positive, but booking trends were not in line with pre-Covid demand levels due to the Omicron interruption to December – January bookings from the key European and United Kingdom markets, it said.
“We remain positive that we will achieve peak utilisation in July 2022, with less certainty on how the shoulder seasons will perform,” the company said.
Shares in Tourism Holdings have shed 45 per cent over the last three years, although they are up 9.6 per cent over the past year. They last traded on the NZX at $2.40.