Australia’s export tourism industry is urgently awaiting the announcement of a date for the reopening of our international border, bringing the return of international visitors and the restart of business after 18 months of no revenue.
With last week’s announcement that NSW will no longer require quarantine for overseas arrivals from next month, it’s encouraging that the full opening of international borders is imminent but the industry urgently needs a date to work towards.
“Since the announcement by the NSW Government last Friday, our members have been fielding inquiries from intending travellers looking to book an Australian holiday or visit their family but they still can’t make these bookings with any certainty,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.
“We simply can’t afford to continue to keep our borders closed to high spending international travellers and miss critical ‘booking windows’ as these people simply will choose to holiday in other competing destinations, putting Australia at the bottom of their bucket list.
“Right now we are heading into the northern hemisphere’s annual booking season when the US, Europe and the UK are facing a long winter and typically plan their travel to warmer climates like Australia. If we miss this booking window it will not surface again for another 12 months.
Mr Shelley said ATEC is calling on the Federal Government to provide a date and a framework for reopening that tourism businesses across the country can use to plan to rebuild valuable distribution partnerships, lock in bookings for 2022 and help breathe life back into our $45Bn industry sector which was crippled by the pandemic.
“Our industry has been waiting a long time for the opportunity to recover and we have a hard road ahead of us to reconnect with our international markets.
“We need to begin to regain our place as a ‘must visit’ destination and a date for the reopening of our international border is therefore both urgent and critical.
“Now is the time to provide clarity about Australia’s reopening to the world, and offer certainty to our industry, providing a much-needed opportunity for our financially fragile and work-depleted industry to commence the long road to rebuilding what was once Australians second largest export industry.”