Australian, NZ and South Pacific Tourism

Old Jun 12th, 2021, 11:30 PM
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Australian, NZ and South Pacific Tourism

How's it surviving?
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 05:05 AM
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The Australian regions within each State are doing very well, with locals investigating their own States. Many, including me, have booked and cancelled several interstate trips due to sudden border closings.

That said I recently did a 10 day , 2500km road trip through south eastern Queensland, north west NSW, Hunter Valley & back via the North & far north coast of NSW. Accommodation in the three country towns I stayed in was booked out. I booked a fortnight in advance & was lucky to get in.

“ Grey Nomads” in their caravans & mobile homes usually head north in winter, but from what I saw, I think a good few are also heading west.

I think the places that rely heavily on overseas tourism probably suffered most in the beginning, but whilst they would certainly still be taking a hit, I believe some of the pain has been alleviated by locals travelling more domestically. In the beginning, there was the belief that the whole thing would be over & we’d be able to resume our usual overseas travelling. And many State borders were closed, so even if people were inclined to travel interstate, they needed a permit & there was no guarantee about borders remaining open - which they didn’t as we had outbreaks in various states.

As time has gone on, I think we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that we’re unlikely to be going overseas beyond NZ before late ‘22. So if we want to travel, we’ll be travelling in our own country. At the same time, things have settled down in the States, so people are taking advantage of the “ work from wherever you have a. Internet connection” and exploring locally.

One of the big issues many hospitality places, and particularly restaurants are having is in getting enough staff to gear up again.

Restaurants , especially those in tourist areas, usually have a good % of foreign students & working visa holders on their staff - and of course, this source has dried up.
The same labour shortage is severely impacting on areas like fruit picking, too. Producers are desperate to get their crops off, but can’t get the workers.

The double, perhaps triple whammy of Working from home/ uncertainty around border opening & closing and the drop in tourism has really hit the CBD of Sydney & Melbourne. I noticed it in Sydney when I was there in February & a friend who works in both cities was commenting just yesterday on the number of coffee bars, smaller retailers & restaurants which had closed in the centre of both.

I haven’t been to Brisbane for a couple of months, so can’t comment on what the story is there.


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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 11:02 AM
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It sounds so daunting for many businesse. Glad tourism is up and citizens are exploring all that Australia has to offer although getting permits is always a turn off. Thanks for the explanation....it's always interesting to hear how other countries are dealing with the situation.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 03:53 PM
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How's it where you are, kleeblat?

Permits aren’t needed everywhere now, just where there are “ hotspots” from time to time, mostly. It’s shifting sand, so I guess we just have to check.

When the borders were closed, I needed to drive into NSW & back to Queensland. I’m about 20kms from the border. Took me about 3 minutes to get the permit - but I’d not been into any “ Orange / red zones”.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 10:03 PM
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Bokhara explains the situation very well. From what we've heard, accommodation in Australia, particularly in popular areas, is in high demand as Australians can only travel domestically. Some tourist destinations that relied heavily on overseas tourists, especially from Asia, are not doing so well. The lack of experienced hospitality staff has been all over the media lately and is a source of some frustration for business owners. Brisbane CBD (city centre) is busier than, say, six months ago but overall quieter than in normal times.

Glad as we are that Australia has done well with illness and death as a result of COVID, a lot of us are wondering about the long term plans for opening up the country to the outside world.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 10:43 PM
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I have airfares and accommodation for beginnging of July to visit family in fremantle. i think I"ll ne cancelling . So far we Melburnians have able to travel 25 kms in Melbourne for the last week, before that only 5kms for 2 weeks. but not to regional Victoria ;; We are not allowed in any other state at the moment..
Fairly sure I'll be cancelling my trip to Western Australia sometime next week.-that state has been the harest at keeping us out.
Its frustraing trying to plan .
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 02:27 AM
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I squeezed in a Great Ocean Rd trip just before the latest restrictions.

Travelled from Adelaide (South Australia) to Lorne in Victoria. It was quite amazing timing, stopping at usually packed sites (12 Apostles) without crowds or bus tour groups, and visiting waterfalls without other people there was fortunate for us, but it was certainly tough on accommodation and hospitality businesses.
Lorne was delightful, but hardly any people and many apartments there were empty, and the high end restaurants appeared to be closed.
Caravan businesses arenít able to meet demand, I know of people with the usual 12 month waits extended another 6 months. I heard that camping / caravan sites can be crowded now, remember itís winter here and the grey nomads are on the loose as well as those unable to travel overseas, - a big country, but the popular sites are often remote with limited capacity.

Rental car fleets were heavily sold off last year, so thatís impacting on holiday plans. People cancelling trips as unable to get a car...some options being considered
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-...ists/100158014
and the ferry to Tasmania was discounted for awhile to encourage people to still visit, but with their own vehicle.

Also, most states are offering hotel / travel vouchers to get us exploring or staying local.

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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 04:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bokhara2 View Post
How's it where you are, kleeblat?

Permits arenít needed everywhere now, just where there are ď hotspotsĒ from time to time, mostly. Itís shifting sand, so I guess we just have to check.

When the borders were closed, I needed to drive into NSW & back to Queensland. Iím about 20kms from the border. Took me about 3 minutes to get the permit - but Iíd not been into any ď Orange / red zonesĒ.
The Swiss are busy exploring Switzerland so accomodations are doing OK to very well. Restaurants are just opening up again although large groups are still not accepted. Some travelling abroad is occuring, especially to Spain and Italy. It's all baby steps but each month/week brings a relaxation of Covid measures.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 02:35 PM
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It's almost impossible to plan ahead for a holiday in Australia - you need to book ahead to get accommodation but with rules and restrictions changing almost daily, you then risk losing your deposits with cancellations. On the other hand, if you don't book ahead, then it is difficult to get a room for the night. We did a short trip through NSW in April/May and found that motels seem to be booked out by lunchtime.
We have a cruise to NZ booked for next February (this is to replace the cruise booked for September 2020) but have very little hope of the cruise taking place.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 04:06 PM
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Kleeblat : Hereís a link you may find interesting - about local tourism etc.,

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/bus...6a23e7183a909d
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bokhara2 View Post
Kleeblat : Hereís a link you may find interesting - about local tourism etc.,

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/bus...6a23e7183a909d
Interesting! Iíve heard this is happening in places like Montana and Idaho as well. Small towns are growing but housing prices are increasing. I wonder what the future of working from home is? How will it effect mental health and corporate dynamic? Will mortar and brick establishments continue to die as online ordering prevails?

I drive through Lucerne twice a week and at the moment businesses are reliant on locals and Swiss tourists. The Chinese, who were the main customers for the watch and souvenir shops, are being missed by many but others enjoy having the city be less tourist-based.
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Old Jun 15th, 2021, 06:53 PM
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A lot of New Zealander's are travelling domestically. We plan a caravan trip in a couple of months up the North Island, and last year we did the West Coast of the South Island, driving through the Haast Pass, Lake Wanaka, and ended up in Te Anau. A day trip into Doubtful Sound was the highlight.

Now that the travel bubble is open between us and Australia, there are a lot more visitors to the ski areas, like Queenstown. It's still a bit risky doing a trip to Oz though, as there is no guarantee the bubble will stay open. New Zealander's visiting Melbourne recently had to stay an extra 14 days, as the bubble closed.
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Old Jun 16th, 2021, 02:57 AM
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Nelsonian, I caught up with some friends from Christchurch last week. They have an apartment in Noosa and had flown in a week or so ago, planning to stay until August/ September.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2021, 05:18 PM
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well Ive cancelled our accommodation for the trip to WA -glad i only looked at cancel and refundable ones. Ive no desire to spend 14 days in hous eisolation in Fremantle.
As my son says (the WA resident) WA is called Wait Awhile!! In Victoria we can travel to any other state and NZ but not WA.
I will now have to change our airfares -at least theres no change fee.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2021, 11:51 PM
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There's such a push in advertising to get Australians to get traveling and hopefully offset the missing international crowd (which I think also won't be allowed back before 2023) but I hadn't heard how well it was working. It's all so unpredictable - for leisure and business. I was able to drive to Brisbane and Gold Coast for work in late May.... but I came back to a Melbourne back in lockdown. And as mentioned, with borders state borders opening and closing, I'm unsure whether to invest in planning a trip to Adelaide for an event only 3 weeks away. I've been invited - but if it were on today, I couldn't go! South Australia is closed to me. Who knows what will be happening in a couple of weeks?.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2021, 11:54 PM
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Reading Northie's post..... I might already be wrong.

Is SA's border reopened to Victorians without 2 weeks of quarantine? It wasn't when I looked last week.
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Old Jun 24th, 2021, 05:51 AM
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CC - I admire (or think they are extremely foolhardy but brave) anyone booking inter-state travel - or even intra-state travel at the moment. Has been the case for the last 15 months. I know far more people with cancelled trips than people with successful trips over that period.
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Old Jun 24th, 2021, 04:48 PM
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Greenhorn, there are times when it feels riskier than others. I didn't have a lot of qualms about the drive to Queensland due to a lack of cases at either end at the time. But the Adelaide trip with constantly updating border rules and coupled with 3 days of public interaction once I'm there, is feeling more daunting. Hard to risk your health.... but also hard to risk the business by not attending. Apparently crossing is now possible without quarantine other than until a covid test is administered. Being that SA has fairly conservative about these things, I'm hoping that's indicative of being pretty low risk.

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Old Jun 25th, 2021, 03:29 AM
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CC - am in one one of the now lockdown Sydney LGA's - it's a bugger. Wish our Gladys would extend the lockdown to the whole city - but she would rather be on a ventilator than use the word 'lockdown'.

Last edited by Greenhorn; Jun 25th, 2021 at 04:24 AM.
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Old Jun 27th, 2021, 01:37 AM
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Well, Greenhorn, you got your wish. All locked down.

It was quite funny this morning, as I drove past the coffee shop at the end of my street. Normally, on a Sunday morning, it's absolutely packed, including about a dozen tables on the footpath, with (mostly male) cyclists in lycra (not always a good sight). This morning it was closed - but all these people were standing around, looking puzzled, and nowhere to sit and pose.
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