TTF Media Release

15 November 2021


International students are back on the move and coming our way, quarantine-free and this is great news for the tourism, hospitality and aviation industries which are all in dire need of skilled and unskilled labour, Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond said today.

“Restaurateurs, hoteliers, attractions operators, transport ride-share operators, events operators, retailers connected to the aviation sector and a whole host of other businesses large and small will be raising their glasses and coffee cups at today’s news,” Ms Osmond said.

“While clearly these international students whom we have missed for so long won’t be returning in significant numbers any time soon, this is a significant next step on the long-term journey to repair and recovery for our ailing industry.

“The lack of incoming international students is partly responsible for the worsening skills gap across Australia, along with the tens of thousands of tourism workers who were lost to the industry forever during the pandemic.

“More recently, our members tell us that bookings are around a third higher today than this time last year and around 50 per cent higher over the upcoming summer break than for the same period last year, with NSW locations like Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour and Canberra all popular. Put simply, we need people to work in our businesses to help us fill this demand.

“They also tell us that that they are exceptionally proud of and excited by their industry and the people who work in it.

“The recent resumption of international travel quarantine-free for fully vaccinated Australians along with increasing confidence our border will be reliably open, has seen a significant spike in bookings from Australians returning from abroad. This, together with today’s announcement, is a promising sign ahead of the hopefully imminent return of skilled workers and international tourists, which are the two remaining pieces of the puzzle.

“We will continue to work with governments towards these skilled workers and wider international tourists returning before Christmas as planned. Clearly in NSW the momentum in is there for us to continue pressing ahead to reopen for business once more. A huge bravo to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and the NSW Government team.”


Contact: TTF Manager Policy, Media & Government Relations Lindsay Hermes 0418 948 447