Exclusive: Hospitality industry basks in optimism about open borders

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Australia’s leading hotel operators have praised the speed and agility Australians have shown in their drive to get vaccinated and take charge of their lives with a strong desire to travel both within the country and abroad.

The applause comes after NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, who introduced the freedoms provided and the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated residents from December 1 through Monday November 8, in a measure designed to jumpstart the economy.

“Everyone has done an incredible job of ensuring that NSW can relieve restrictions in a safe and thoughtful manner sooner than expected,” said Premier Perrottet.

Tourism Accommodation Australia National CEO, Michael Johnson.

Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson said the changes had come at the right time and the industry was ready to welcome people statewide again.

“This change means that our restaurants, bars and conference rooms can start operating at a profitable level again,” he said.

Elsewhere, Victoria has surpassed her own threshold of 80% fully vaccinated and is quickly heading towards 90%, expected in late November, when all limits on gatherings, capacity and density will no longer apply. South Australia is currently operating with its lowest restrictions before all were removed. At the same time, detailed roadmaps towards opening borders have been published by Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Melbourne will exceed 90% of vaccinations before the end of November.

“Australians love to travel and our customers tell us they can’t wait to get moving again. I have no doubts that the return from the trip is going to be huge, ”said Simon McGrath, CEO of Accor Pacific.

Marriott International Area, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific vice president Sean Hunt said the company has been supporting the community since the pandemic began in March 2020.

“The phased opening of national and international borders is good news. We can now move forward with some degree of certainty, resume full operating levels at most of our ANZP properties and complete our new plans to open. “

States open their borders to optimism
Travelers are vaccinated and ready to set off and explore the world again.

Hilton Australasia vice president of operations Heidi Kunkel said the company is ready to safely welcome travelers to its hotels and sites.

“At Hilton, we believe that the desire to travel, discover new cultures and connect with others is at the heart of the human experience. It’s wonderful to see how Australians have responded to the call to get vaccinated and what it means now for the gradual reopening of national and international borders and the easing of restrictions. “

IHG Hotels and Resorts Australasia General Manager Matthew Tripolone said it was exciting that states and territories were safe enough in adopting vaccination to be able to bring the industry back to life.

“We are already seeing a significant influx of travelers who are already planning their getaways in regional areas, as well as improved bookings at our CBD hotels as well. The opening of the state borders will be the next big boost, but after a two-year absence, I think the biggest celebrations will be reserved for the first planes loaded with international arrivals not quarantined. “

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