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Australia Gears up for Tourism 2.0: What Lies Ahead?

October 20, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Summary

  • Australian tourism is gaining significant momentum for recovery, surviving two of its biggest challenges this year- the bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Travel restrictions are beginning to ease, promotional campaigns are being launched, SailSAFE programme are progressing, while pilot projects may soon be launched to bring the students back.
  • Advancing the awaited travel bubble with the neighbour, hundreds of New Zealanders landed in Sydney.
  • Tourism operators seem to have an opportunity to rebuild and optimise their business models as the pent-up demand for travel is unleashed.

Tourism plays a substantial role in Australia’s overall economy. The sector is a large contributor to GDP as well as employment.

Right when the bushfires were receding from the headlines, progressive social distancing and travel restrictions owing to the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruption to Australia’s tourism sector. However, the silver lining is here, and it seems to be a bright one, as Australia’s tourism recovery gathers some pace after the double whammy.

The reopening of state borders, innovation & agility of educational institutions to have the foreign students back, a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone and Tourism Australia’s latest campaign, all seem to be reducing the sector’s stress to some extent.

WATCH THIS: Trends Shaping the Australian Travel Industry

Finally! Australia’s Interstate Borders Are Opening

In late September 2020, Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged states to reopen their borders by December 2020 and ease restrictions. Well, the process of getting a nation of over 25 million citizens moving freely again in the face of a pandemic has begun. Interstate travel is now possible to many parts of Australia!

The peak summer travel period, loved by almost every Australian, is just around the corner. Quite naturally, Australians have been waiting to explore the incredible destinations and tourism experiences – be it surfing, wine tasting, guided walking tours and Great Barrier Reef adventures.

Easing of interstate border restrictions offers the opportunity to Australians to book a plane ticket, head to an interstate destination, and eventually save a tourism business or the job of a fellow Australian- the many advantages of inter-state travel!

MUST-READ: Why Australia needs to open up its borders?

Promotional Campaigns Picking Up Steam

Two of the nation’s most iconic homegrown personas, Hamish Blake and Zoe Foster-Blake joined Tourism Australia’s latest campaign to inspire travellers to book their next domestic holiday. The campaign follows the launch of a teaser video that was voiced by Hamish Blake.

Besides, their involvement seems to be perfectly timed with domestic restrictions lifting and consumer confidence improving.

The latest iteration of Tourism Australia’s ‘Holiday Here This Year’ campaign is back. It aims to provide a much-needed boost to tourism businesses and operators by propelling Aussies to travel safely across the country.

Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble Officially Opens

The first of the Trans-Tasman flight has jet-in from the New Zealand. On mid-day, 16 October 2020, passengers travelling from New Zealand arrived in Sydney. Reportedly, these passengers will not have to enter hotel quarantine upon arrival.

As Australia’s international borders were closed, the arrivals under the much-anticipated Trans-Tasman bubble marks a welcome development in the country’s international travel arrivals.

The bubble presently applies to the state of New South Wales and the Northern Territory, only. However, the bubble is one-sided currently, with Australians not allowed to enter New Zealand yet.

ALSO READ: Travel Sector in New Zealand

Where Do Universities Stand Currently?

Australia’s international education sector was amongst the hardest hit by COVID-19. However, institutions are demonstrating innovation and agility and are working towards competitive policies around post-study work arrangements.

Pilot projects are reportedly due to commence this month to bring the students back. Besides, new concessions on student and post-study work visa arrangements are being considered. Student visa flexibility packages, if launched, could prove to be an attractive offer providing fee waivers and visa extensions at no cost for the students.

Though Australia’s international borders remain closed, the strong management of the pandemic seems to be the key to giving Australia the edge down the track.

HERE IS A FACT: According to a recent Austrade survey, 80% of students surveyed said they’d like to stay in Australia to complete study and work. Besides, two-thirds still see their experience in Australia as a positive one!

ALSO READ: Good News for International Students

Other Notable Developments in The Travel Space

  • PM Scott Morrison recently hinted that Australia is considering reopening the travel with South Korea, Japan, Singapore, and South Pacific nations as COVID-19 cases mark a dip.
  • Tourism Australia has invested $7 million into the Holiday Here This Yeardomestic campaign.
  • Coral Expeditions resumed operations on 14 October 2020, setting off on the first of a series of seven-night round-trips from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Few online travel services providers are launching platforms for airline partners, offering access to trends and information to aid commercial decision-making, and support the overall recovery of the industry.

Source: Kalkine Media

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