Today’s the day! Aussie border’s are back open after 23 months, but a decimated travel industry and confusion around Australian state border requirements has many concerned.
Data from the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) revealed international in-market sellers of Australian travel are reporting significant concern from consumers lacking confidence to book their travel to Australia.
“While the government has invested in global advertising to drive demand to return to Australia, there are worrying signs consumers are wary of travelling here with confusion over our various state travel restrictions and concern about snap border closures,” ATEC managing director, Peter Shelley, said.
“Australia is a long-haul, aspirational destination and people are concerned by what they have heard in the media about confusing state entry requirements and isolation protocols should they get COVID while here.”
Other data from ATEC revealed confusion surrounding state border requirements created booking hesitation, businesses don’t expect to see a significant flow of international visitors before October 2022, tourism suppliers are operating at 50 per cent or less capacity compared to 2019, and inbound tour operators are operating at 30% or less capacity compared to 2019.
“While the industry is looking forward to welcoming back international visitors and rebuilding our tourism brand, there is a huge and complex runway to navigate and we need a multitude of factors to line up including access to skilled staff, a consistent approach to COVID protocols and ease of movement between states, along with international tourism trade educational programs and targeted advertising campaigns,” Shelley said.
Although many are concerned about how the travel industry will handle the large amounts of tourists coming into Australia, the airlines are already welcoming them in.
Qantas will bring in eight flights from overseas destinations today and will fly more than 14,000 passengers into Australia this week.
QF12 from Los Angeles was the first to land at 6.20am and flights from other international destinations including Vancouver, Singapore and London will arrive into Sydney throughout the day.
JetStar’s first unrestricted international flight JQ18 will touch down in Melbourne from Phuket at 10.05am and QF70 from Delhi to Melbourne will arrive at 1.35pm.
At a press conference today, Scott Morrison thanked those working in the tourism industry and reminded them that the wait is over.
“I want to thank all of those in our international tourism industry here in Australia,” the Prime Minister said.
“To them, I say, whether they’re up in Far North Queensland or here in one of our biggest cities, where international tourism is so important, thank you.
“Thank you for pushing through over the course of this pandemic. The wait is over.
“The tourists are coming back and my message to them is, to tourists all around the world, pack your bags, come and have one of the greatest experiences you could ever imagine – the experience you’ve been waiting for.”