International travellers are booking flights to Australia before borders open in two weeks – with strong demand from a familiar source
International tourist are searching for flights to Australia before borders open
Booking platform Skyscanner has seen a spike in customers on their website
Majority of travellers were from the UK, followed by India and the US
Top Aussie destinations searched are Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane
Australia’s international border is set to reopen on February 21
By Carina Stathis For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 05:06 GMT, 8 February 2022 | Updated: 05:20 GMT, 8 February 2022
With Australia’s borders officially set to reopen to international tourists on February 21, booking platform Skyscanner has seen a spike in overseas travellers searching for flights Down Under.
The borders were shut for almost two years to keep out Covid but after the announcement on February 7, Skyscanner saw an immediate 21 per cent increase in all global visitors to the site.
The highest volume of searches interested in booking flights were from the UK, followed by India, the US, South Korea and Ireland, with the top three most searched for Aussie destinations being Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Australia will reopen its international borders on February 21, and already Skyscanner has noticed a rapid spike in keen travellers on its website (stock image)
According to data collected by Skyscanner, UK travellers were the top international searchers for inbound Australian travel since March 2020.
To compare, American travellers also expressed interest with weekly search volumes increasing over 170 per cent this week compared to the previous week.
Even before this announcement, searches for flights from Germany to Australia have been steadily increasing, with searches reaching above 52 per cent in January 2022 compared to December 2021.
Skyscanner’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific Paul Whiteway commented on what the reopening of international borders to visitors will mean for Australians.
‘Australian travel is back on the global map after a long period of locked borders. The re-opening of Australia’s border to international visitors is a huge milestone in the tourism industry and one that many travellers across the globe have been hoping for such a long time,’ he said.
Mr Whiteway added how the company expects to see travellers start planning trips ‘straight away’ to reunite with family and friends overseas ‘as soon as possible’.
‘We’ve seen from global travel re-opening elsewhere that clear, consistent information about the latest changes and travel requirements are the key to unlocking traveller confidence, alongside increased flexibility and competitive pricing,’ he continued.
‘Skyscanner’s on hand to give travellers clarity and confidence to travel again, with dedicated travel advice pages and tools like our interactive travel map.’
The borders were shut for almost two years to keep out Covid-19, but after the announcement February 7, Skyscanner saw an immediate 21 per cent increase in all global visitors to the site
Australia has opened its border in stages after only allowing Australian citizens and permanent residents from March 2020.
In November 2021 skilled migrants and students were also allowed to enter provided they were fully vaccinated.
Mr Morrison’s decision to open up came after he faced pressure from executives in the travel and tourism including Qantas boss Alan Joyce who said keeping the border closed was illogical.
Former deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said the timing was right for the border reopening to expand to tourists.
‘It’s a really important sign for Australians that things are back on the path to normality,’ he told the Nine Network.
‘The fact that we’re going to have people coming into the country, students and tourists who have been vaccinated, that’s a safe policy and the right time to do it.’
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