International arrivals are set to be given the green light to land in Queensland in the new few days, as the state rapidly approaches its 90 per cent double vaccination rate target.
International travellers to Queensland are packing their bags and tourism bosses have their eyes set on the international #ArrivalRevival as the state’s double vaccination rates almost reach 90 per cent.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had previously said that this figure would be the threshold for fully-vaccinated travellers to enter Queensland from anywhere in the world, and the time is almost here.
“We will need those visitors back,” Queensland Tourism Council chief executive Daniel Geschwind told Sunrise.
“We also need the workers back and the international students on working holiday visas, all of them we need for our industry, especially with such enormous staff shortages.”
Queensland’s domestic border controls were removed for interstate travellers from Saturday and will help breathe some life into the state’s regional tourism industry. However, international travel is still key in the state’s recovery.
Some destinations, such as Noosa on the Sunshine Coast, have reported a huge increase in Australian tourists since Christmas, with more than 666,000 applications to enter Queensland from hotspots processed between December 13 and 15 January, before the border barricades came down.
Richard Berman-Hardman, general manager of Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns, told the ABC the return of southern visitors had been a much-needed boost for tourism operators in Queensland’s hard-hit far north.
“We’re busier than I thought we might be … given all the issues with testing and concerns about the Omicron variant,” Mr Berman-Hardman said.
“On the whole, we’re still a third down from where we would have been pre-COVID for this time of year, but we are quite satisfied nonetheless.”
Queensland is the second-largest tourism-oriented state in Australia, following New South Wales, bringing an enormous A$35.6 billion to the tourism gross state product (GSP), before taxes.
The state is currently at 88.6 per cent full vaccination and is expected to hit the big 90 per cent international travel milestone in the next two days.
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