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Tourism boost expected to follow reopening of Western Australian border to NSW and Victoria

Tourism boost expected to follow reopening of Western Australian border to NSW and Victoria
December 8, 2020

The announcement by Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan yesterday that people from NSW and Victoria will be able to enter the state as of today without needing to quarantine has been welcomed by Tourism Council WA.

Tourism Council WA Chief Executive, Evan Hall said Premier McGowan’s announcement ended the uncertainty that tourism operators had been experiencing, commenting “(this) 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.”

Noting that the announcement will give tourism operators the security to take bookings, and for interstate visitors to book experiences in Western Australia to revive the industry, Hall stated “more than 60%  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.”

Beyond announcing that the border would reopen, Premier McGowan said while travellers from NSW and Victoria would no longer be required to quarantine on arrival, they would remain subject to several conditions.

These conditions included completing a G2G pass declaration, undergoing a health screening on arrival and being prepared to take a COVID-19 test if required.

Until 11th December, travel from South Australia remains prohibited unless travellers meet the strict exemption criteria, pending further updated health advice. This includes anyone who has been to South Australia in the previous 14 days or is travelling through South Australia on their way to Western Australia.

Premier McGowan advised “all through this pandemic I have made it crystal clear that Western Australia will take a considered, cautious and careful approach to our decision making.

"This has kept COVID out and protected people's lives and livelihoods.

"Western Australia's economy has roared back to life as a result, faster than we ever expected.”

Hall went on to say for tourism operators was essential for the industry to survive into next year, adding “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.”

Images: Perth-based Out and About Wine Tours is among operators expected to benefit from the reopening of the Western Australian border (top, courtesy of Out and About Wine Tours) and TCWA's Evan Hall (below). 

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