COVID-19 gives tourism a ‘huge knock’

Being bound to the clouds is unlikely for future travellers. Photo: Daniel Hocking.

WA’s tourism and hospitality industry says it has suffered a ‘huge knock’ due to the government’s travel ban which effectively cuts out all foreign visitors.

The PM announced the closure of Australia’s borders to all non-citizens today in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to executive director Sally Rugg, the borders will most likely be closed for at least six months.

Travel Directors’ marketing manager Helen Power says the tourism industry in genera, has been severely hit by the pandemic and the resulting government responses.

However, arriving travellers would be more impacted than departing travellers, due to the border closures, according to Ms Power.

She says the travel agency is also unable to make any long-term plans in terms of the pandemic situation, as the pandemic is changing and escalating rapidly.

Hundreds of aircraft have been grounded across Australia. Photo: Daniel Hocking.

Ms Power says with operations changing daily, the travel agency is unable to organise any new tours.

She says as an agency that focuses on both retail travel and as a tour operations agency, there is an impact with a tour suspension until the 30th of April.

Sarah Butler, a senior travel consultant for Travel Directors, also says the tourism and travel industries have been impacted massively by the pandemic and border closure.

She says a lot of the activity at the agency is based on people calling to defer or cancel out-bound flights, with no new bookings being made.