Tourism

PM warns international travel won’t return “anytime soon”, except maybe to New Zealand

Ali Coulton

The Prime Minister announced Australia may soon begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions, but flagged that international travel would not be returning “anytime soon”, except maybe to New Zealand.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a press conference the government is putting protections in place so that Australia may soon “move back to all the things Australians like doing again”. But he warned things will not be exactly as they were before.

“I can’t see international travel occurring anytime soon,” Morrison said.

“The risks there are obvious. The only exception to that, as I have flagged, is potentially with New Zealand, and we have had some good discussions about that. But outside of that, that is unlikely.”

New Zealand this week began to lift some restrictions on its strict lockdown rules, announcing its infection rate has been in single digits since 19 April, with only three new cases confirmed today and two yesterday.

Academics and tourism marketing bodies are pushing for the proposed trans-Tasman travel bubble should be extended to economically vulnerable Pacific Islands, which have experienced remarkably low infection rates.

Dr Leonardo Nogueira de Moraes, a postdoctoral research fellow in tourism, resilience and planning at the University of Melbourne told Traveller that the bubble should include Pacific nations which are vulnerable to exploitation from China.

Many Pacific Islands who rely on tourism dollars have been hit hard by COVID-19 restrictions and natural disasters, so the argument is that Australia should strenghten tourism ties to help reestablish economies in a sustainable way.

“It is expected that Australia will seek to re-establish international flight connections to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Pacific, especially those struck by recent cyclones such as Vanuatu, as a way to strengthen ties through tourism and to help them recover,” Nogueira de Moraes said.

Graeme West, regional general manager of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation, told Travel Weekly the destination would love the opportunity to welcome back Australian and New Zealand visitors in the near future.

“The Cook Islands is still Covid -19 free which is very fortunate, and we must protect that status together,” he said.

“We are working closely with our Ministry of Health to develop protocol to enable visitors to return as soon as practically possible, while simultaneously ensuring the safety and well-being of visitors and locals alike.”

Vanuatu, which is still recovering from the devastating cyclone Harold, has also reported no cases of COVID-19, while Fiji, whose economy relies heavily on tourism, has only reported 18 cases and no deaths.


Featured image: iStock/MicroStockHub

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Travel Agents

Flight Centre granted loan extension

There was reportedly a great deal of cheering and yahooing coming from Skroo’s office this morning. Discover the cause here.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Travelling family cop jail time over fake illness claims against tour operator

These halfwit travellers posted pics of themselves enjoying their holiday on social media, and even gave positive feedback about their trip via a survey, despite claiming to be ill.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Your ultimate agent guide to WA’s Margaret River region

by Sponsored by Tourism Western Australia

Have you always pretended to know everything about the Margaret River region to your clients, despite having never actually been there? Continue the facade with this.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott to more than double all-inclusive portfolio through new deal

Just like the waistline of Travel Weekly’s editor, Marriott’s all-inclusive portfolio of hotels and resorts is expanding.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Meet Rob, the world’s first humanoid robotic bartender at sea

Do you live in fear that one day you will be replaced in your job by a robot? Well, if you’re a bartender on a cruise ship, sadly that day has arrived.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

ACCC backs reauthorisation of Qantas-American Airlines alliance

It looks like Alan Joyce and Doug Parker will be buying each other anniversary gifts for the next few years.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Topdeck responds to allegations of “alarming and unscrupulous corporate conduct”

by Ali Coulton

Topdeck has come under fire from a few customers over what they are claiming to be some dodgy rebooking tactics by the Flight-Centre-owned brand.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

REVEALED: The top-selling souvenir from every country in the world

From camel hair rugs and daggers, to marionettes and worry beads, this study has uncovered exactly which souvenirs travellers are most likely to come home with.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Event Hospitality & Entertainment creates new collection of independent hotels

The company has a new brand for its indy hotels to sit under, which is held up by four pillars (metaphorically speaking, of course).

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

New executive officer appointed for Cultural Attractions of Australia

Do you happen to work at Cultural Attractions of Australia and have recently noticed a fresh face wandering the office hallway? Discover their name and more here.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aurora Expeditions to launch new Aussie voyages for domestic travellers

The Aussie-owned cruise company is getting ready for a new and unique domestic travel program, which will kick off in June.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

IN PICTURES: Virgin Australia unveils “lounge of the future” at Adelaide Airport

Much to Travel Weekly’s disappointment, the new lounge doesn’t feature robot butlers. However, it does have plenty of bright greenery and ambient lighting.

Share

CommentComments