9 April 2021
Tourism Council WA has welcomed today’s announcement by the State Government that Western Australia will open its borders with New Zealand from April 19.
Chief Executive Officer Evan Hall said the announcement was welcome news for the industry, giving tourism businesses certainty to start promoting themselves to international travellers.
“New Zealand represents a large tourism market for WA, generating $100 million for tourism each year, and is a larger source of incoming travellers than even Tasmania or the ACT,” Mr Hall said.
“Perth businesses and jobs have been hardest hit in WA as the gateway for out-of-state travellers, so it is important that we get visitors into our CBD hotels and attract more leisure tourists for our tours and experiences.”
Mr Hall said that the open border with New Zealand came at a critical time in the industry where many businesses were shedding staff and at risk of closing down.
“The latest industry survey revealed that 29 per cent of tourism businesses were starting to shed staff now that JobKeeper has ended and many are considering shutting their doors,” Mr Hall said.
The removal of capacity caps for certain venues and the return of quarantine-free travel from Queensland from April 19 were also welcome measures.
Mr Hall called on the Federal Government to include Perth in the discounted airfare scheme and provide direct flights in order to save WA tourism jobs and businesses.
“It is critical that Perth be included in the discounted airfare scheme and we can’t afford to always be last to benefit from these programs. This leaves the industry unable to compete with other states in the new tourism market,” Mr Hall said.
“Discounted airfares are still the most effective tool in attracting out-of-state visitors. This is why we are also calling for the return of direct flights from Auckland to Perth by Air New Zealand and Qantas to support the tourism industry here in WA.”
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