Interstate travel is back on the cards in time for Christmas and Australia’s hoteliers couldn’t be happier, say Australia’s leading hotel and hospitality industry associations.
With borders between Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria all now open, combined with access from those three states to Western Australia from next Tuesday, the Association says millions of dollars in forward bookings by leisure and business travellers can resume.
Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO, Michael Johnson, said the border openings were the chance the industry has been waiting for.
“There’s no doubt it will see the long awaited return of ‘open flow’ domestic tourism which has been lacking for most of the year,” Johnson said.
“People are now able to book those Christmas and summer holidays they have been longing for during the long period of COVID shutdowns.
“In fact, bookings have already started, with CBD hotels in Sydney and Melbourne now welcoming interstate travellers back. Tourism areas like the Gold Coast and North Queensland are also set to receive a boost as Victorians and Sydney residents are finally able to head north once again. In many cases this will lead to more jobs and the re-employment of staff put off during the pandemic.”
Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long, said the borders reopening was essential to having people employed once again and for local economies to again start ticking over.
“This announcement couldn’t have come at a better time, especially for those hotels and motels in South-East Queensland and metropolitan Sydney which have been particularly hard-hit by the border closures given their reliance on interstate and international travel,” Long said.
“With the holiday season so close, we expect to see a very welcome surge in accommodation bookings up and down the east coast of Australia as we all celebrate the return to a more normal framework.
“For the 100,000 people who work within our industry and the many other businesses who rely on our sector, there will also be a sigh of relief after what has been an extremely tough year financially and psychologically.”
Over in Western Australia, AHA WA Chief Executive, Bradley Woods, said the opening of the state’s border to its eastern counterparts was fantastic news, even if South Australia was still locked out for a little while longer.
“Today’s announcement is music to the ears of hotel operators and hospitality venues throughout the state, with travellers now able to book with the confidence that they can arrive in WA and not have to quarantine for 14 days,” Woods said.
“Business visitation and the MICE market brings hundreds of millions of dollars into the state and supports thousands of jobs – from today bookings can be made with the certainty that events can be held in locations throughout WA, which will create an immediate and much-needed economic stimulus.”