Tourism Council WA has welcomed the announcement today by the Premier that Western Australia will reopen its borders with New South Wales from midnight tonight.
Chief Executive Officer Evan Hall said today’s announcement by the Premier ended the uncertainty that tourism operators had been experiencing and set a good precedent for the future.
“Today’s decision sets a great precedent that WA doesn’t need to close its borders based on a couple of cases of COVID-19 and that we trust other states and their public health and contact tracing systems,” Mr Hall said.
The announcement will give tourism operators the security to take bookings, and for interstate visitors to book experiences in WA to revive the industry.
“Queensland has given interstate travellers border certainty for the past two weeks and has taken a record number of holiday bookings. Unfortunately, WA has missed out on these bookings due to border uncertainty,” Mr Hall said.
“More than 60 per cent of interstate visitors to Western Australia come from New South Wales and Victoria, which represents more than $1 billion annually for the WA economy.
“This announcement will mean that empty CBD hotels are filled, bus and coach companies can begin to recover, and that WA can get tourism into Perth and the regions again.”
Mr Hall said this security for tourism operators was essential for the industry to survive into next year.
“Over 20,000 jobs were at risk across the tourism industry in WA if we couldn’t secure enough bookings before March when JobKeeper runs out,” he said.
“Today’s announcement gives tourism businesses the security they need to take bookings, hire new staff and bring in working holidaymakers to pitch in for the peak season in the south, and in the north from March.”