Why Aussies should prepare for international travel to be banned until July 2021 – as tourism industry braces for $55billion hit to its bottom line
- The Prime Minister said international travel bans may remain until July 2021
- He said the spread of deadly COVID-19 is why borders will stay closed
- His comments come the Australian tourism sector prepares to lose $55billion
The Prime Minister has said it’s ‘not unreasonable’ to assume international travel will be off the cards until July 2021.
Scott Morrison believes Australia’s borders may stay closed until then prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Speaking on Friday he added that ‘no one really knows’ when it will be safe to travel ‘and that’s the problem’.
However flights to New Zealand are likely to resume in the next few months, he said.
Mr Morrison’s comments come amid projections the Australian tourism sector will lose $55billion over the next financial year because of international border closures.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was ‘not unreasonable’ to assume international travel bans will remain in place, except to New Zealand, until July 2021
Speaking on Friday Mr Morrison added that ‘no one really knows’ when it will be safe to travel ‘and that’s the problem’
Tourism expenditure is expected to fall from $138.5billion in 2019 to $83.8billion in 2020.
The massive financial hit may be worse for the travel industry if state border restrictions aren’t eased soon.
A report by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission showed domestic holiday activity was worth $54.3billion in 2019.
The revenue earned in 2020-21 is expected to drop by 26 per cent to $40.2billion.
A similar decrease may also be seen between states as revenue from interstate travel is estimated to drop by 13 per cent to $19.5billion.
Local business trips are expected to see a decrease of 35 per cent to $16.9billion.
A source close to the government told The Sydney Morning Herald when borders eventually reopen, Tourism Australia is expected to ramp up domestic marketing.
The tourism industry hopes this campaign will encourage Australian’s to travel nationally which may recoup some of the losses from international travel.
The government also put aside $1billion in March to help the tourism industry.
Trips to destinations such as Santorini, in Greece (pictured), may be off the cards until July 2021
Australians hoping to fly to locations such as Lanikai, in Hawaii (pictured) will have to wait until next year
The airline industry has also continued to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic with Qantas boss Alan Joyce announcing on Thursday they will slash 6,000 jobs.
‘It’s clear that international travel is likely to be stalled for a long time,’ Mr Joyce said.
‘We are working on international operations not starting in any real size – we might get the Trans-Tasman before then, we may get other nations opening up with bubbles – but to real size from July of next year.’
He said that the proposed ‘travel bubble’ between Australia and New Zealand would be in operation in the next few months but that Qantas will operate a skeleton international service for at least a year.
In response to the mass job cuts, The Transport Workers’ Union said Qantas should have held off until the federal government reviewed JobKeeper – an announcement expected at the end of July.