Many of these visitors won’t be just looking for a break from normality. They will be hoping their holiday will help overcome the fatigue and stress they’ve faced in the last year – theirs will be a healing holiday.
If they come from Melbourne they will be recovering from 3 lockdowns, the longest of which lasted more than 3 months. While the lockdowns in other states may not have been so long, there will be few Australians who will not carry with them emotional scars caused by Covid-19.
We should see it as a privilege to host people as they heal. They are choosing our home as the first step in their recovery. They may not articulate this, and may appear to be the same as the tourist of old – but we should remember how the NZ lockdown affected our state of mind. These people have been through more, more recently.
So while the bubble will help the tourism industry recover, we also have the chance to help the individuals we host do the same.