Tourism Council WA has welcomed the announcement of the State Government’s Safe Transition Plan but said a reopening date was needed urgently to give tourism businesses time to plan and allow visitors to book trips.
“Without a date for reopening, people can’t book family reunions or other travel, and tourism businesses can’t recruit staff or plan to reopen,” Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said.
“Every day WA remains without a date, we are at a disadvantage to other States for recruiting staff, attracting visitors and keeping tourism businesses going.”
Mr Hall warned Perth tourism businesses would need support to survive another holiday period without interstate and international visitors.
“Perth tourism businesses have borne the brunt of the border, and many are already closing without interstate and international visitors. Many more will close before the borders reopen as late as February,” Mr Hall said.
“By February, Perth tourism businesses will have endured close to two years of international border closures. Almost three more months without customers is a long time for businesses without an income.
“These businesses will need financial support to pay wages, rent, insurance and other costs to remain operational. These are the businesses that we need to survive so we can attract visitors to Perth and regional WA once the borders reopen and replace the Western Australian visitors who will travel overseas or interstate instead of continuing to holiday in our State.”
The tourism industry strongly supported quarantine-free travel for vaccinated people but was seeking clarity on the requirement for PCR testing prior to travel and potential regional border closures.
“PCR tests are a public health measure that should be covered by Government. This measure should not be at the expense of Western Australian families returning home or visitors to our State,” Mr Hall said.
“Tourism businesses need certainty that vaccinated guests and staff will be able to operate and travel into our regional tourism towns.”