Australia’s leading hotel operators have issued collective praise at the speed and agility Australians have shown in their willingness to get vaccinated and get back to their lives with a strong desire to travel both domestically and overseas.
The plaudits come following NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, bringing forward planned freedoms and relaxing restrictions for fully vaccinated residents from 1 December to next Monday 8 November, in a move designed to kickstart the economy.
“Everybody has done an incredible job to ensure NSW can ease restrictions in a safe and considered way earlier than we planned,” Premier Perrottet said.
Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO, Michael Johnson, said the changes have come at the perfect time and the industry was ready to welcome people once again around the state.
“This change means our restaurants, bars and conference facilities can begin operating again at a profitable level,” he said.
Elsewhere, Victoria has surpassed its own 80% fully vaccinated threshold and is swiftly moving towards 90%, due in late November, when all limits on gatherings, capacity and density will no longer apply. South Australia is currently operating under its lowest restrictions before all are removed. At the same time, detailed roadmaps towards border openings have been released by Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.
“Australians love to travel and our customers are telling us they can’t wait to get moving again. I’m confident that the comeback for travel is going to be huge,” said Accor Pacific CEO, Simon McGrath.
Marriott International Area Vice President, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific, Sean Hunt, said the company has been supporting the community since the pandemic hit in March 2020.
“The staged openings of both the state and international borders is welcome news. We can now forge ahead with a degree of certainty, recommence full operating levels at most of our ANZP properties and bring our new opening plans to fruition.”
Hilton Vice President Operations Australasia, Heidi Kunkel, said the company was ready to safely welcome travellers to its hotels and venues.
“At Hilton we believe the desire to travel, experience new cultures and connect with others is core to the human experience. It is wonderful to see how Australians have responded to the call to get vaccinated and what that now means for the gradual reopening of domestic and international borders and easing of restrictions.”
IHG Hotels and Resorts Managing Director Australasia, Matthew Tripolone, said it was exciting that states and territories were certain enough on the vaccination take-up to be able to bring the industry back to life.
“We’re already seeing a big influx of travellers already planning their escapes to regional areas, and some improved bookings in our CBD hotels too. The opening of state borders will be the next big boost, but after a two-year absence I think the biggest celebrations will be reserved for the first plane loads of non-quarantine international arrivals.”