Australia fans will have to wait another year.
Australia’s travel industry has little hope that Australia will open to European visitors before the second half of 2021. This was made clear in many conversations in Australia’s first ‘online marketplace’. The industry is kept afloat with tourists from its own country and the help of the government.
Australia has always been rigorous when it comes to introducing diseases to humans, animals and plants. Bringing food has always been prohibited, and flight attendants spray insecticides in the cabin before each landing from abroad. Almost nothing has happened since Corona. Australia snuggled up.
Australia has almost no new infections.
Europeans would rub their eyes in amazement at the numbers. Currently, there are not even 100 active cases of Covid19 in all of Australia. The number of new infections each day is usually in the single-digit range; last week, it was six, ten, eight. On Monday, Australian media reported an “explosive corona cluster”, that is, 17 cases in the state of South Australia. Therefore, it is not surprising that Australia is sticking to its strict entry ban because of the really skyrocketing numbers in Europe.
Opening at the earliest in the second half of the year
Development is not very encouraging for tour operators and the local tourism industry. Australian suppliers have little hope of being able to welcome Europeans again soon. The talk is currently in the second half of 2021 at the earliest, says Brian Hennessy of Sunlover Reef Cruises in Queensland and Nicole Mitchell of Discover Aboriginal Experiences.
Georg Vollmer, Governor of AAT Kings, Australia’s largest bus tour company, also does not believe in an early opening. Just one shot could mean visitors from Europe could get in sooner. Therefore, according to Vollmer, AAT Kings has cancelled all tours for the international market until June.
Until international visitors are allowed to return, the Australian travel industry is trying to survive on domestic tourism. That seems to work quite well. Australians love to travel and are not allowed to leave their country. “Domestic travel is strong and keeping us afloat,” says Sunlover manager Hennessy. The aid would come from the state, but it expired in March.
100 years of Qantas without international flights
The ongoing shutdown is particularly bitter for Qantas. Because the kangaroo airline just celebrated its 100th anniversary. Qantas removed all intercontinental flights from the systems in March. However, airline chief Alan Joyce doesn’t expect significant volume until July. Qantas managers rely on so-called “travel bubbles,” as the direct flight corridors between two countries with low infection rates are called. This includes New Zealand and, in the spring, perhaps Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries.
It is not expected that tickets to Australia will become more expensive when the border reopens due to the corona pandemic. In an online panel of the “Australia Marketplace Online”, the managers of Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Emirates agreed that airfares would remain “very interesting”. Ultimately, carriers would have to stimulate the market and refuel their planes.
Read our blog on Anti-Corona Fortress: How the Pandemic Is Changing Australia