Australia has lifted it’s 2-year travel ban and is now welcoming back fully vaccinated passengers.
The reopening is expected to be a major boost to Australia’s key services industries, with a potential influx of students, working holidaymakers and skilled visa holders offering the prospect of filling shortages in pockets of the labour market.
“The wait is over. There’s some more than 1.2 million people around the world who are visaed up and they can come,” Prime Minister Morrison said ahead of the reopening. “To tourists all around the world, pack your bags, come and have one of the greatest experiences you could ever imagine.”
Tourism Australia last week launched a fresh A$40 million (US$28.8 million) campaign with the slogan “Don’t Go Small. Go Australia,” to run in Germany, France, Italy, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.
“We also considered the popular destinations and cities which have been impacted the most by the pandemic and put them in the spotlight,” Tourism Australia Chief Marketing Officer Susan Coghill said in a statement.
Tony Brown, who operates True Blue Sailing in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands, said he was feeling “really positive” about the reopening, adding he was getting bookings all the way up to December this year. “That’s showing there’s a confidence level that hasn’t been in the marketplace for a number of years now,” he said.
Brown said it could take some time before the tourism industry was fully back on its feet, with entire sections of the booking infrastructure closing their doors during the pandemic. “The main sort of booking system that it all came from, Australia-wide, has basically just disappeared,” he said.
Tourism and trade minister Dan Tehan, speaking to Bloomberg Television from Sydney Airport, said he was confident that the tourism market would “rebound very strongly, very quickly” now the borders are open.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: BLOOMBERG