ATEC welcomes travel bubble between Australia & New Zealand
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ATEC welcomes travel bubble between Australia & New Zealand

News  
04-08-2021
 

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has welcomed the announcement of a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand to start in the middle of April. The bubble will help to re-establish some of Australia’s long term travel relationships and marks the first step in reopening our export tourism industry to international visitors, according to a media report. 

ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley reportedly said: “Our industry will be very happy to hear that a travel bubble has been agreed between the Australian and New Zealand governments which will see one of our most significant markets back online.” 

Peter Shelly also opined that Australian tourism businesses, like those across the world, have suffered severely with the closure of international borders and this marks an initial step towards re-establishing our $45bn annual export industry. Thousands of tourism businesses across the country have suffered a severe drop in their income with the closure of international borders and many are simply holding on for announcements like this.
 
According to Shelley, a recent ATEC survey of the export industry showed Australian inbound tour operators (ITOs) were suffering the most under the international border closures with 80% operating with less than 10% of their pre-COVID revenue.
While our tourism product supplier members are doing their best to turn to the domestic market and are working hard to make ends meet, ITOs are only staying afloat with the help of the Federal Government's travel agent grants program now that the JobKeeper subsidy has ended.
 
Also, Shelly pointed out that without the re-opening of borders or the certainty provided by ongoing government support, a large number of ITOs will be out of business within months, taking with them a significant pipeline of forward bookings made by international travellers and millions of dollars in revenue.
ITO’s are the businesses which sell Australian tourism product across the world and while they are small in number, they deliver a huge amount of business across the country, especially to regional areas which have developed strong destination appeal for international visitors.
 
“The reopening of international borders will be wholeheartedly welcomed across the industry and particularly by those businesses whose entire future rests on international visitation,” Shelly concluded.

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