ATEC highlights that tourism needs clear date for international reopening

The Australian Tourism Export Council has highlighted that while it’s encouraging the full opening of international borders is imminent, Australia’s export tourism industry is urgently awaiting the announcement of a specific date for the reopening of international borders – bringing the return of international visitors and the restart of business after 18 months of no revenue. 

ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley advises “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.

“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.

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 $45 billion 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.”

Image: ATEC Major Member – Featherdale Wildlife Park in NSW 

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