13th May 2022 – (Sydney) With borders opening, Australia’s reeling tourism industry has begun to see its first influx of international tourists in over two years.
Managing director of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), Australia’s peak tourism body, Peter Shelley said on Friday that a long period of uncertainty was beginning to come to an end.
Australia’s export tourism industry has endured two years of debilitating conditions where many businesses simply had no income or vision on when it would end, Shelley said.
According to data released by Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Thursday, Australia’s international visitors had reached their highest levels since February of 2020, when an estimated 647,000 international travellers arrived in Australia before its borders were shut in March.
In April this year, 575,530 visitors arrived in Australia, 200,000 more visitors than the previous month.
As a result, the pandemic has all but decimated Australia’s 45 billion Australian dollars (about 31 billion U.S. dollars) export tourism industry, however, the ATEC said that government and industry would need to play an active role in its recovery.
“Now we have our borders open we are seeing the green shoots of recovery and with export tourism businesses looking to rebuild their markets, this (is) an important time for government focus on investing in getting the industry back on its feet,” said Shelley.
The ATEC launched a tourism campaign dubbed “its time for tourism,” which called for greater funding for peak tourism marketing body, Tourism Australia, and greater training for workers in the tourism industry.
“While we rebuild our industry we also have the opportunity to innovate and improve business practices, support a more sustainable industry and create a tourism industry of the future,” said Shelley.