New Zealand’s borders will have been closed for a full year by March 2021, and Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI) says Kiwis will be excited to get out and start travelling again as soon as it’s safe – and with COVID-19 vaccines to be offered from mid-2021, that time looks to be edging closer.
SCTI CEO Jo McCauley says her biggest hope for the new year is to see the travel industry start to recover, and for New Zealand’s tourism businesses to see a much-needed boost from international travellers.
“We were pleased to hear the recent announcement regarding the possible early 2021 timing for a trans-Tasman bubble and travel to the Cook Islands, and I look forward to seeing this become a reality as soon as possible,” McCauley commented.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Southern Cross Travel Insurance has always maintained a long-term view while concentrating on riding out the current challenges that the lockdowns and border closures have had on the business.”
“We’ve always been focused on supporting our customers and serving them with relevant product and experiences,” McCauley said.
“This has never been more important than it was in 2020, and we’ll continue with this ethos into 2021. We’re closely monitoring announcements regarding the lifting of border restrictions to ensure we continue to meet our customers’ needs once international travel opens up, and this includes being able to support international students when they can enter the country again.”
SCTI is currently providing insurance cover to over 9,000 international students who have remained in New Zealand throughout the pandemic, though McCauley says it has not seen any new student arrivals in the country since March. She says SCTI’s International Student policy will be available to overseas students once they are able to make the journey, but, in the meantime, the country will continue to rely on an ongoing upswing in domestic tourism.
“We look forward to welcoming international students back when it is possible to do so in 2021,” McCauley said.
“Looking back at 2020, it was heartening to see so many New Zealanders fulfil their love of travel by exploring their own backyard, but there is a special thrill reserved for international adventures and I hope we’ll see Kiwis embrace the chance to hop on a plane overseas as soon they can.”