The South Australian tourism sector will now be able to prepare for a more promising summer season following Premier Steven Marshall’s decision to open the South Australian border to NSW residents from midnight tonight.
In 2019, one in four visitors to South Australia came from NSW, representing about 800,000 trips.
“This decision will mean South Australia can start to build back $2.5 Billion in domestic interstate tourism enjoyed pre-COVID,” Australian Chamber Tourism chair John Hart said.
“These border closures have had a profoundly detrimental impact on tourism businesses, with the domestic interstate tourism June data down 82 per cent compared to last year and the overnight spend down to $404 million compared to $2.9 billion in June 2019.
“It’s also good news for staff in the airlines, airports and many supporting businesses in both states who are desperate to get back to work. Finally, businesses can start the arduous process of planning for the Summer season, when we hope to see many Australians holidaying domestically.”
This follows on from yesterday’s encouraging announcement from Queensland, permitting cross border travel of about 152,000 residents from NSW/QLD border communities.
“While we welcome these announcements, the continuing full closure of the Tasmanian and Western Australian borders is a massive threat to their tourism sectors, and we urge a review of these in light of the excellent work done to contain COVID-19 across most states and territories.”
Mr Hart said it was vital a sensible protocol be established for what will happen if community cases return in New South Wales, particularly when the source can be traced.
“Travel and tourism can’t start and stop based on the disproportionate reaction to a small caseload and minimal risk. Certainty is needed to ensure there is an ability to travel and book future trips with some confidence.
“Our Tourism Restart Taskforce will continue to work closely with Government to support the restart of tourism and help the industry to get back on its feet.”