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Australian Tourism Export Council’s plea to PM

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has written an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling for more transparency on his plan for reopening international borders.

“We are writing to you to seek urgent clarity on your plan for reopening our international borders and reconnecting Australian businesses to the global economy,” Peter Shelley, ATEC’s managing director, stated.

“As we pass by yet another month of closures and continuing uncertainty, tourism export businesses are dismayed at the Federal Government’s lack of clarity or concern around setting a framework for reopening.”

Shelley said the government was acting too slowly on developing a risk management process including extensive pre-departure testing, tracking and tracing technology to minimise the chance of Covid-19 entering Australia.

“The impacts on pure export tourism businesses are direct and clear, without international visitors they have no clients, no income and increasingly, no future,” he stated.

“More broadly for the tourism industry and many others, closed borders mean not only a limited client base but chronic staff shortages and the increasing risk of disconnection from the global marketplace and future growth opportunities.”

Shelley said the increase in domestic travel driven by the border closures was only short term.

“We simply can’t afford to be complacent and accept this short term situation as a long term comfort,” he stated.

“Without international visitors, our industry will slip, taking us back to a period where Australia was seen internationally as an expensive, inaccessible and unsophisticated destination.

“We urge the Government to come forth quickly with a framework for reopening.”