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New Zealand welcomes back tourists from US and dozens of other countries after 2-year hiatus

New Zealand Tourists
Posted at 8:10 AM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 08:10:30-04

New Zealand has begun welcoming back tourists from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Japan and more than 50 other countries for the first time in more than two years.

The minister of tourism, Stuart Nash, said thousands of tourists were expected to enter the country on Monday.

New Zealand has dropped most of its remaining pandemic border restrictions.

Tourists will need to show proof of vaccination and get tested after arriving.

The country has long been renowned for its breathtaking scenery and adventure tourism offerings such as bungy jumping and jetboating.

Before the spread of COVID-19, more than 3 million tourists visited each year, accounting for more than 5% of the economy.

But international tourism stopped altogether in early 2020 after New Zealand imposed some of the world’s toughest border restrictions.

The real test of how much the tourism industry rebounds will come during the Southern Hemisphere summer several months away.

Most visitors from India, China and other non-visa-waiver countries are still not allowed to enter New Zealand.