Today’s announcement from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that Queensland will reopen its border to interstate hotspots by Christmas with no quarantine requirements will reboot the domestic tourism and aviation industry.
Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) Chief Executive Margy Osmond said the announcement was music to the ears to Queensland’s tourism industry which can now start preparing for the holidays while domestic travellers can start looking to book a summer break in the Sunshine state in time to catch-up with friends and family for Christmas.
“TTF congratulates Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Queensland Government on this major development today, which provides some form of certainty for the state’s struggling tourism operators and will help them to reboot in the leadup to the peak school holiday period and build further momentum over the summer and into 2022,” Margy Osmond said.
“Coming so quickly after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s decisive action last week and made in conjunction with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ ongoing preparations to start opening up Victoria from this Thursday, there is a real sense of relief that there is light at the end of the tunnel for our industry nationally.
“As more and more Australians are double vaccinated, we are now looking at the prospect of being able to travel across much of Australia to see long missed family and friends over summer. Or even take a regional or attraction- based city break.
“Queensland has long been a critical market for domestic visitation but also for international visitors who, once approved by the Federal Government, will hopefully start arriving before Christmas, and this further clarity around Queensland’s reopening will help us to start to get back on our feet.
“Recent research for TTF showed that one in three tourism businesses are facing extinction within the next three months if border uncertainty remained. While clearly there is a lot more to do, particularly around rebuilding key international markets and attracting back a skilled labour force as international tourists start to return, this is a major step forward.
“Our industry has been pulled from pillar to post over the last eighteen months and while it is not over yet, today’s development following on from the NSW and Victorian announcements is like Christmas coming early for the tourism industry.”
All Queensland arrivals from hotspots will be allowed to quarantine at home (fourteen days) from November 19, when 70 per cent of the population over 16 have been fully vaccinated. Once the 80 per cent target is reached, which is expected on December 17, fully vaccinated travellers will not have to quarantine.
At 80 per cent, international arrivals can also quarantine at home and at 90 per cent they will be admitted quarantine free. Travellers must be fully vaccinated and have a negative test result prior to their departure.