Enquiries for flights and accommodation in the Cook Islands and Australia has surged following the Government's announcements that it could open up its borders to both the Cook Islands and Australia early next year.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that Cabinet had agreed in principle to a transtasman bubble early next year.
It comes two days after she revealed plans were also in place to allow travel between the Cook Islands and New Zealand by the end of the first quarter of next year.
Both would be two-way quarantine-free travel allowing travellers to bypass quarantine requirements in both countries.
Since October New Zealanders have been able to travel to certain states in Australia including NSW and the Northern Territory without quarantining on arrival. However, the New Zealand Government still requires travellers to stay in managed isolation quarantine facilities on their return.
The current high demand for MIQ facilities means travel back to New Zealand is difficult and there are long waits.
Flight Centre NZ general manager of product Victoria Courtney said people were stepping into their stores every day asking about the islands and Australia.
Some were even booking flexible travel for tentative dates.
"Many customers would commit now, regardless of the bubble, but vacancies in MIQ are scarce."
Courtney said she was pleased to see the Government was progressing further towards confirming a Cook Islands and two-way trans-Tasman bubble.
House of Travel had also seen a notable increase in enquiries from those desperate to see family, friends and loved ones.
Since Saturday's announcement, Rarotonga had been the most viewed deals page on the company's website for the past three days, a House of Travel spokesperson said.
But Travel Industry Suppliers Group chair, Robyn Galloway, told Mike Yardley that the timeframe for when the Cook Islands bubble could open was too vague.
"The PM said in August it was looking like travel would be open for Christmas, and business now aren't sure whether to get ready for March."