Australia reopened its international borders for the first time since nearly two years. This has brought joy to families and given rise to tourism.
After being shut down in March 2020 by Covid, the country has imposed some of its most stringent travel bans.
Some Australians and others were allowed to return late last year, but the majority of foreigners had to wait.
As hundreds of people arrived on planes, there were tearsful reunions at Sydney Airport.
Charlotte, a young girl, shared an emotional hug and kiss with her grandfather. According to Charlotte, she shared an emotional hug with her grandfather on the Nine Network.
Visitors who have been double-jabbed do not need to be quarantined, but they must quarantine unvaccinated travelers for up to 14 days at their expense.
On Monday, more than 50 international flights were scheduled to land. All states are open to travelers, except Western Australia. This state remains closed until March 3, and requires three jabs.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said, “What wonderful, wonderful, news for our tourist industry and the 660,000 people it employs.”
In 2019, Australia welcomed approximately 9.5 million tourists from overseas. Tehan stated that he hopes for a strong rebound of the tourism sector which has been affected by bans on domestic travel.
Although the country’s strict policies were criticised for segregating families and stifling business, they were also credited with saving many lives before vaccines became available. Australia has seen approximately 4,900 Covid deaths.
Tourism operators get a morale boost
Dawn the koala, like the sun rising, is a sign that Australia’s struggling tourism industry will see brighter days ahead.
She is a star attraction at Featherdale Wildlife Park, Sydney. Its lifeblood was international tourists, accounting for almost two-thirds its revenue before Australia closed its borders.
The park has been kept afloat by domestic visitors, but it is an historic moment when Australia opens its borders.
Chad Staples, the park’s managing Director, stated that “the fact that we can actually start welcoming people back will do a lot to our morale.”
While optimism is positive about the future, there’s also a concern about over-expecting in Leura, a tourist town in the World Heritage-Blue Mountains.
Careem Angel from Josophan’s Fine Chocolates stated, “It’s not going to be an easy recovery.”
It will take time to rebuild Australia’s multibillion-dollar tourism industry.