Australia and New Zealand create travel bubble and welcome tourists

by | May 27, 2020 | New | 0 comments

South Australia tests backpackers and seasonal workers for Covid-19

South Australia tests backpackers and seasonal workers for Covid-19

Australia has been doing really well in preventing the spread of the corona virus throughout the country. Many states have been Corona free for a while now. Measures like border screening and virus testing have been very successful so far. However, the covid-19 tests have only been available for a selected group of people at risk. This group will now be extended with seasonal workers, including backpackers.

There are rumours about a plan to create a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand, starting this winter. That would be great news for all travelers and backpackers down under. Why is tourism important, what does a travel bubble mean and why are only Australia and New Zealand included so far?

The tourism industry in both countries is hit hard. Tourism represented 3% of Australia’s GDP with a total value of 44.6 billion in 2019, before the country went into lockdown due to the spread of Covid-19. In New Zealand, the sector is even more vital for its economy with a contribution of 5.8% to its GDP (16.2 billion) last year. In both countries hundreds of thousands of people work in the tourism sector. Many of them lost their income when the lockdown measures came into place.

Backpackers enjoying the last sunset at Byron Bay before at the evening before the start of the lockdown.
Backpackers enjoying the last sunset at Byron Bay at the evening before the start of the lockdown.

The good news is that the lockdown measures were quite successful so far. Many Australian states didn’t report any new cases of covid-19 for a while now and in New Zealand the last hospitalised patient with covid-19 was discharged today according to CBS News. This result is unique worldwide, as most countries still struggle to bring the infection numbers down. The geographical location and the fast introduction of measures to prevent the spread of covid-19 both contributed to this succes. It means that Australia and New Zealand can now look into options to lift measures like travel restrictions. Initially there are only rumours about opening up the borders between Australia and New Zealand, because both countries have similar results in the battle against the corona virus. It will create a “bubble” where people can travel freely from within. For Aussies and Kiwi’s this would be great news as many are eager to go on holiday again. Furthermore, working holiday makers and backpackers would welcome new travel possibilities as well, as they came to Australia and New Zealand to have the time of their life and explore the world. Some of them ended their travel plans already and had to leave the country, while others have been stuck in local communities and states for a while. For them the possibility of a travel bubble would be a great relief. But most important might be that many people working in the tourism industry might be able to keep their job or will be able to get back to work. It means that there finally is hope on the horizon for those who lost their income. Especially for New Zealand the stakes are high, as 45 percent of international tourists are Australians.

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