Domestic tourism is unlikely to fill the gap left by international visitors, but new modelling shows it will help at least partially sustain the sector as it recovers.
Tourism New Zealand has released its scenario models for the industry.
While tourism may take the longest of any sector to recover because of border closures, modelling suggested the growth would return.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said this type of information helped to inform decision making.
"The modelling shows that while there are uncertainties right now that will dictate whether that recovery takes one year or two or three," England-Hall said.
"If we have visibility of these variables we can take action to influence them to have positive outcomes for the country's economic recovery like the work Tourism New Zealand is doing to encourage domestic tourism."
Based on modelling, the biggest hurdles for the sector would be the trans-Tasman border reopening, consumer confidence and demand, and businesses ability to survive and adapt to the domestic market.