NZ — Australia Travel Bubbles to Encourage Sustainable & Sports Travel; Challenges Persist
Aiming to strengthen skill shortages amid the pandemic and rebuild strong international links, New Zealand — Australia travel bubbles have struck strides of excitement among global travellers. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the country’s plans to permit quarantine-free travel with Australia in the first quarter of 2021.
Although the trans-Tasman Australian travel bubbles are yet to be confirmed by the Australian cabinet, the news is likely to give a major boost to the sports tourism sector of both the countries.
Currently scheduled to play all 2020–21 A-League season home matches at the Wollongong’s WIN Stadium, professional football club — Wellington Phoenix is planning to return to New Zealand in 2021. Making an official statement post the news of New Zealand — Australia travel bubbles, the club said, “The Wellington Phoenix will assess the likelihood of re-locating the team back to New Zealand during the 2020/21 season, should a quarantine-free, two-way corridor open up between New Zealand and Australia early next year”.
Although all matches will be put on live telecast for football sports lovers, fans are hoping to see live matches in case a Covid-19 vaccine is successfully distributed till then. If actualised this sports travelling would help the countries to generate some revenue.
New Zealand — Australia travel bubbles will also encourage sustainable tourism, which has now bagged the attention of governments across the world. Since trans-Tasman travelling does not require any long-haul flights, carbon emission will be much less than otherwise. This reduced carbon footprint will lay the foundation of a sustainable future for the tourism industry.
While New Zealand’s government has started making generous investments towards creating a greener future, Australian travel bubbles will encourage individual travellers to make conscious travelling decisions. Most of the people travelling via the Australian travel bubbles are likely to be repeat visitors, travelling either for work or to visit family. Experts claim that repeat visitors spend most of their time at regional destinations. Hence, reduced usage of carbon-run transportation.
Besides New Zealand — Australia travel bubble, Australia is planning to start travel with many Asian countries, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Fiji.
Although the quarantine-free New Zealand — Australia travel bubbles will bear sweet fruits for the travel and tourism industry, experts have raised serious questions over the efficacy of the contact tracing apps of the two countries. While New Zealand’s contact tracing app uses Bluetooth-based Google/Apple exposure notification framework to help people to communicate via their Android or iOS devices, Australia’s CovidSafe app uses a different mechanism.
Since both countries are using different contact-tracing systems, it would be difficult to communicate if someone from New Zealand caught the virus before downloading the CovidSafe app in Australia. The best possible solution to this would be to follow the “gateway” being used by the EU states.