australias tourism sector seeks to open borders after decline in cases


Long border closures and lockdowns threaten to destroy Australia’s flagging tourism economy, prompting a multi-pronged push to persuade the nation to reopen. Australia’s airlines, hotels, and tourist bodies are increasingly concerned about missing out on the peak tourism season as the summer vacations approach. Currently, the sector is losing almost A$6 billion (S$5.9 billion) every month.
Tourism firms have retaliated by threatening legal action and diverting aircraft away from places that refuse to reopen. Flight Centre wants to join other travel companies in taking legal action against Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania if they do not develop a “fair” strategy to ease their border closures in the coming weeks.
Flight Centre’s CEO, Graham Turner, estimated that the closures cost the firm A$100 million each month. He also said, “We expect the state premiers to have a strategy, and we expect it to be fair.” “If the borders remain closed, we will have no choice except to challenge.”
Last year, a lawsuit by mining tycoon Clive Palmer to Western Australia’s border closures failed when a court determined that the closure was a reasonable measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, according to Flight Centre, the availability of vaccinations now means that states may reopen without endangering public safety. Due to outbreaks of the Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus, the two major cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and the national capital Canberra have been under lockdown for months. However, restrictions in Sydney have since been relaxed.
Before the epidemic, Australia’s tourist sector was thriving. It had 9.5 million visitors in 2019, with 1.44 million coming from China and 818,000 from the United States. Arrivals from Singapore totalled 478,500. During the epidemic, however, this inflow came to a standstill.
Apart from a temporary travel bubble with New Zealand, Australia has maintained its international borders closed to non-residents. Australians have also been prohibited from travelling abroad, and the number of international visitors has been limited.


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