The arrival of transtasman travellers will bring vitality to the capital and relief to industries that have been struggling, Wellington authorities say.
On Monday Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the long-anticipated arrival of the transtasman bubble, allowing Australians to enter New Zealand quarantine-free from April 19.
New Zealand's borders have been shut to all international travellers since March 2020.
WellingtonNZ CEO John Allen said the onset of the travel bubble would be "hugely positive" for the city and the wider region.
"We know that in pre-Covid times we had 250,000 Aussie visitors [a year], they spent a heap of money across our region and in our city, and obviously they pumped an awful lot of volume through the airport in Wellington.
"In every sector we're going to see more people here, we're going to see more vitality here, we're going to see people spending more money here and that's going to be good for all of us."
He said Wellington was well-regarded across the ditch as being the cultural capital of New Zealand.
"We're a city with great events, we're a city with great food, we're a city that's easy to get around," he said.
"We're a city that has within our region wine, beer … we have all kinds of scenery available, trails. There's just heaps to do in this region and it's a single flight away.
"And I think that appeals to a cross section of Australians."
He said events like Te Papa's Surrealist Art exhibition in June, and WOWA later in the year were likely to entice Australians across the Tasman.
"Those sort of events bring Australian visitors to our city, and having Australian visitors in our city adds vibrancy and real vitality," he said.
Wellington Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson said the airport was "elated" at the announcement of a transtasman bubble date.
"We've been looking immediately at the scheduling, it looks like flights are getting pretty close to pre-Covid in terms of transtasman," he said.
"Our anticipation is there's going to be huge demand for these tickets, and we've seen that even when domestic tourism opened up."
He said it had been a tough year for the aviation industry and all sectors of the airport and wider tourism industry would benefit – from airline staff, to retailers, to hotels.
The track record of both countries showed they were well-equipped to manage the transtasman bubble if outbreaks arose, he said.
"We've got a lot better at it over the past 12 months – we're starting to see testing come back to the original source and nets being cast around those outbreaks without affecting the whole country."
Wellington was also a "totally green airport", meaning that all fly-ins from Covid countries did not actually bring passengers into the terminal, Sanderson said.
"People who come in or out of our airport can rest assured that they're entering a completely safe airport."
The travel bubble comes into force in just under two weeks, on April 19, with Air New Zealand saying it had been "run off our feet" since Monday's announcement.