January 27, 2022 | By Bronwen Largier

With Australian tourism operators suffering a $50 billion reduction in revenue since the start of the pandemic as a result of fewer overnight domestic visitors, the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) is calling for the Western Australian interstate border to open to help the tourism and aviation industries recover.

Deputy Chair of ATIC, Daniel Gschwind says there needed to be open borders across Australia for the tourism industry to move into a COVID-normal phase of operation.

“The past two years of this pandemic have been devastating for the tourism and aviation industries. Any prospect for a recovery will be at extreme risk if borders remain locked.”

“Every regional community and all capital cities in Australia have been impacted by the loss of tourism activity, they need to be supported for a speedy recovery.”

With high vaccination rates across Australia and an influx of rapid antigen tests, the nation had all the tools it could to resume a more normal state of travel.

“Australians have been doing the hard work to get through this pandemic and it would be a tragedy to see their hard work come to nothing. If we cannot ease our own borders and come back together now, with all the tools we have available, then when?”

These latest comments from ATIC, following earlier pleas for greater support of the tourism industry, come after a survey found there was a 52 percent downturn in business activity for tourism operators in the final quarter of 2021, when compared to the same quarter in 2019.