As restrictions are further eased in a bid to reboot Australia’s pandemic-ravaged travel sector, international visitors are being wooed Down Under.
Nearly two years of COVID-19 border restrictions have crippled the once thriving industry.
Budget carrier Virgin Australia has announced discounts on up to 1.5 million flights, including short-haul international destinations.
The Back to Holidays sale runs until midnight April 4 or until sold out, with a 25 per cent bonus discount on fares for children aged between two and 11.
However it’s international travellers to Australia the federal government most hopes to entice with the easing of travel rules.
While still needing to be fully vaccinated, from April 17 they will no longer require a negative COVID-19 test result to board a flight to Australia.
Health Minister Greg Hunt says the rule will be dropped, like the ban on cruise ships.
Qantas launched a campaign on Friday to showcase the country as a prime international destination.
The ads feature iconic local landscapes, while the country’s sporting and cultural stars sing I Still Call Australia Home with members of the Australian Girls Choir, National Boys Choir and Gondwana Choir.
Group chief executive Alan Joyce says a new version of the Peter Allen classic will be the carrier’s anthem.
“The full version of this advert is effectively a short film that highlights Australia’s stunning natural beauty and unique culture while celebrating the incredible resilience that has really shone through recently,” he said.
New financial supports for the tourism industry have also been announced.
The government will provide $75.5 million (US$56.75) for travel agents and tour arrangement service providers to continue to operate and re-book travel credits.
A further $60 million (US$45.10) over three years will entice more visitors from new international markets, including additional support for the Business Events bid fund attracting major events to Australia.