Australia’s hospitality industry is rejoicing at today’s announcement from the federal government that international borders will reopen to fully vaccinated tourists from 21 February 2022.
Restaurant & Catering Association (R&CA) says during the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality has been one of the hardest hit industries, having to endure lockdowns, volatile consumer demand, restrictions, uneasy financial positions, massive staff shortages and the virus itself.
“The announcement that tourists will be allowed to enter Australia is an absolute lifesaver to the business owners and employees who have had to endure so much during COVID,” says R&CA CEO Wes Lambert.
“According to research company IBISWorld, restaurants, cafes and caterers have lost $10 billion in bookings and events since the start of the pandemic.
“With the reopening of Australia’s international borders, Australia’s hospitality and tourism sectors will once again flourish with holiday-makers travelling down-under for the first time in over two years.”
The federal government says since the Morrison Government commenced Australia’s staged international border reopening on 1 November 2021, almost 580,000 arrivals have come to Australia to reunite with loved ones, work or study.
“With this last barrier removed it feels like we’re finally seeing some semblance of normalcy,” says Wes.
“While many businesses have unfortunately not survived this period, I know that we will come back roaring better than ever, ready to retake our position as one of the world’s favourite holiday destinations.”
R&CA says it will continue to advocate for support for businesses during this time as well as seek ways to solve the current staff shortage in the Australian hospitality industry.
Visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will still require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia and will be subject to state and territory quarantine requirements.
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