Australia’s minister for trade, tourism and investment Dan Tehan and Tourism Australia managing director Phillipa Harrison welcomed the country’s first international tourists this morning after almost two years of closed borders.
Australia’s official reopening to all fully vaccinated travellers came into effect today, with the first arrivals coming through Sydney International Airport.
Harrison said in a statement that the tourism industry has been looking forward to the return of international tourists.
“At Tourism Australia we are so excited to be welcoming back international visitors who make up a critical part of our visitor economy,” she said.
According to Travelport, international flight bookings to Australia spiked as soon as the reopening announcement was first made on February 7. International flight bookings to Australia rose by 93 per cent on that day when compared to the same day the week prior.
The majority of bookings – 75 per cent – was for leisure travel. Solo travellers made up 35 per cent of all Australian-bound flight bookings, and are the largest traveller segment. Travelport said these travellers might largely be Australians eager to return home, as they no longer had to endure a mandatory two-week hotel quarantine.
In terms of forward bookings for Australia, February 2022 is the busiest month, attracting 45 per cent of all reservations.
Travelport’s data also identified Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane as the top three Australian destinations for international travellers, while the top source markets are the UK, India, Nepal, the US, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Germany, the Philippines and Canada.