CANBERRA, 21 Feb – After two years of shutting down its international borders, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announces the country’s reopening to all vaccinated tourists.
Australia was strict with their movement control order which saw its borders closed to everyone except citizens and residents in March 2020 as an attempt to curb the rising Covid-19 cases within the country.
Ahead of its reopening, the Australian Prime Minister said, “The wait is over”, during a press conference on Sunday. Despite only having 56 international flights scheduled to land in the country, he has no doubt that the figure will scale up in the coming months.
Australian Tourism Minister, Mr. Dan Tehan briefly remarked that it would be a difficult task for the country to attract tourists from China who were previously Australia’s biggest market due to the imposed zero-covid policy within the borders.
“As soon as that changes, Tourism Australia will have a lot of work to do to encourage Chinese visitors to come,” said the Tourism Minister.
Since the announcement, Australia’s national air carrier, Qantas airlines had its first taste of tourists with a flight from Los Angeles touching down in Sydney at 6 am (1900 GMT) followed up by incoming arrivals from Tokyo, Vancouver and Singapore.
The carrier expects an estimate of more than 14,000 passengers travelling into Australia this week which to some experts, sparks the route to recovery for the tourism sector.
While the Australian government has assured a Aus$40 million advertising campaign to lure tourists back, the Australian Tourism Export Council warned that tourists alike might be affected by the confusing travel restrictions that differ for various states along with the risk of snap border closures. -Reuters-
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