Australia’s export tourism industry welcomed the announcement of the reopening of international borders beginning next month, a move that will be viewed as the first phase of the roadmap for reopening international borders for both outbound and inbound travel.
The announcement confirmed restrictions will be lifted in November for fully vaccinated Australians on all inbound and outbound travel from states that reach the 80 percent double vaccination rate.
While the announcement is focused on travel for fully vaccinated Australians, this step will pave the way for the restart of inbound travel. The industry is keen to see this commence by March next year, providing an opportunity for the inbound tourism industry to start recovery.
“While the announcement is the first step in the reopening, giving the green light to Australian’s wanting to travel overseas, it marks a shift in thinking within both the Government and community sentiment to re-engaging with the world,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.
“This is the start of the long road to recovery for a tourism industry which has taken a $100bn economic hit according to research released by Tourism Research Australia this week.
“It’s critical that the Government now provides clarity around the policy decisions impacting the restart of inbound travel and to extend financial support for the damaged tourism export sector.
“As these businesses attempt to harness their limited remaining finances and dramatically reduced staff to rebuild in readiness for attracting and servicing international visitors in the future, they will continue to require support from all levels of government.
“As we move towards fully open borders the tourism industry will have to work though the many challenges and changes which will come with greater movement including vaccination verification, quarantine and testing requirements as well as rebuilding a decimated workforce and reconnecting with international markets.
“International visitors have been a vital part of Australia’s tourism success and many businesses have invested heavily in building the kind of product which connects with international guests and this announcement will give those businesses some hope of recovery.
Today’s announcement has been made possible due to the positive vaccination rates taking place across the country and aligns with the national transition plan out of the pandemic and back to greater individual freedoms and economic activity.