BYATA – Working Holiday Visa Hard work finally pays off!
The Backpacker Youth and Adventure Travel Association (BYATA) is delighted to see that the association’s hard work and lobbying of senior government officials is finally paying off with the recent announcements regarding the easing of border restrictions, in particular those traveling on working holidays and internationally. student visas.
Stage 1 of the 5-point plan begins on February 27, allowing fully vaccinated New Zealanders to return home and self-isolate, skipping the MIQ.
Stage 2, starting at 11:59am on March 13, enables the restart of our popular Working Holiday Visa (WHV) program, which will allow much-needed fully vaccinated young people around the world to experience Aotearoa without the requirements of the MIQ. New Zealand has long been popular with young people to live, work and play and restarting our WHVs will not only be a much needed boost to our tourism sector but will also provide much needed labor for our businesses. local, especially in the station. cities of Queenstown and Rotorua, where they battled COVID to attract Kiwis to work. A successful WHV program is essential to the survival of our sector and the tourism industry. BYATA thanks the support it has received from industry partners Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) and Tourism Export Council New Zealand (TECNZ) in advocating for the rapid return of this fantastic program.
We thank the government for recognizing the importance of the working holiday visa and for acting now to open visa processing from March 14, 2022. With Australia announcing plans to open in February, we are really in a battle for youth market share and we need to work hard with our partners to be competitive in the youth travel space.
We didn’t expect Australia to be open so quickly for double-vaccinated travelers with limited self-isolation requirements, which is a problem for us as New Zealand is considered a double-vaccinated travel destination with Australia.
We will continue to fight to be on equal footing with Australia around our own self-isolation requirements, which is prohibitively expensive for international visitors traveling to New Zealand, especially compared to our neighbors in the pit.
BYATA is also delighted to see the government announce that from April, up to 5,000 international students will be able to complete apprenticeship programs in our unique New Zealand environment. BYATA supports Education NZ’s position that this is a good start towards recovery, but BYATA is happy to see this process starting again, and we will no doubt see these numbers increase over time.
These recent border announcements are a testament to the hard work BYATA’s advocacy team has put in over the past two years. The Prime Minister, in her comments to the media, reflected on the many benefits that young travelers bring to New Zealand, echoing the message that BYATA has put forward over several months of lobbying.
BYATA supports calls from the wider tourism industry to completely end self-isolation and MIQ requirements, at the same time we also support a phased approach, to ensure that the health and well-being of general public in New Zealand and that a sudden influx of visitors does not overwhelm our healthcare system. The border announcements are good news in what have been a few dark years for tourism. BYATA and its members look forward to the time when we will be able to once again extend our famous manaakitanga to our young visitors around the world.
About Backpacker Youth and Adventure Tourism Association – BYATA
BYATA is a not-for-profit association acting as the independent voice of the backpacking and adventure tourism industry in New Zealand. With a growing membership base of over 130 members nationwide, BYATA advocates on behalf of our members with relevant stakeholders including Tourism New Zealand, Immigration, Hospitality New Zealand, and more. BYAYA enables our members to make informed business decisions by sharing specific industry related data with our members. The New Zealand Hostel Association (NZHA) is a sub-group of BYATA and specializes in providing support and advocacy for New Zealand hostels. Visit the BYATA website for more information and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook.
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