Fifty-six international flights mark return of overseas tourism

Fifty-six international flights are due to land today marking the opening of Australia’s international borders to overseas visitors.

The top three Australian destinations for international travellers are Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane with flights from the US, Canada, UK, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Japan and other destinations.

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said the return of international arrivals was an important step in Australia’s Covid-19 recovery.

“We are successfully managing the pandemic and learning to live with the virus,” Tehan said.

“Australians are travelling overseas, and we are welcoming international visitors to our country.

“Australia is the best country in the world and we’re excited to be sharing it with the rest of the world again.”

Tourism Australia has launched a $40 million international marketing campaign to coincide with the reopening of our international borders as the first step in a long-term strategy to restart tourism to Australia, with further investment in tourism marketing campaigns internationally to come in the second half of the year.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) said today was the first step in getting the tourism sector back on its feet.

“While the industry has endured a huge hit, the next 12 months will be the hardest for tourism owners as they work to rebuild once profitable businesses, having shed staff and depleted working capital and in many cases taken out loans to survive the last two years,” said ATEC managing director Peter Shelley.

ATEC’s latest Industry Pulse survey revealed international in-market sellers of Australian travel are reporting significant concern from consumers lacking confidence to book their travel to Australia.

“While the Government has invested in global advertising to drive demand to return to Australia, there are worrying signs consumers are wary of travelling here with confusion over our various state travel restrictions and concern about snap border closures,” Shelley said.

“Australia is a long-haul, aspirational destination and people are concerned by what they have heard in the media about confusing state entry requirements and isolation protocols should they get covid while here.”

ATEC called for consistent messaging from both levels of government to dispel concern over differing Covid protocols across the states and territories.

“Right now, as we welcome back visitors it will be critical that both state and federal governments present a clear message to the global travel community that Australia is once again reopening its borders to the world and remain the welcoming, high-quality destination we are famous for,” said Shelley.

“We cannot afford to allow inconsistent regulations around the management of Covid to create confusion and erode the confidence of intending travellers.”