Where Aussies will be able to travel next

 

After government officials confirmed a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand was set to be open within two weeks' time, all eyes are now on when - and where - that corridor will expand past the trans-Tasman.

From October 16, the Federal Government says stage one of the trans-Tasman bubble will be opened, allowing New Zealanders to travel to New South Wales, ACT and Northern Territory. While it's a plan that is yet to be reciprocated, tourism experts are confident Aussies will be able to visit our Kiwi neighbours by the end of the year.

But seeing the rest of the world, well, that remains in limbo.

Speaking to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Josh Frydenberg said international borders would likely remain "largely closed off until late next year".

The Treasurer said the Budget assumed domestic borders would reopen by December, but international travel would not be possible until there was a vaccine.

But that doesn't discount the possibility of 'micro-bubbles' forming with other nations reporting a similar case number to Australia.

After New Zealand, where will Australians be able to travel to next? Picture: Brendan Radke
After New Zealand, where will Australians be able to travel to next? Picture: Brendan Radke

The CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Margy Osmond, said she remains hopeful for the industry, forecasting that Australia will likely open smaller island bubbles in the Pacific given those destinations are virtually virus-free.

"Those Pacific economies depend so much on tourism," Ms Osmond told Channel 7's Morning Show.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Hannah Peters/Getty Images.

 

Australia’s PM Scott Morrison pointed to a semi-bubble opening later in October. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire
Australia’s PM Scott Morrison pointed to a semi-bubble opening later in October. Picture: Gary Ramage/NCA NewsWire


"Singapore is the next logical choice, and they're making all the right noises about wanting Australians to come and visit. It just needs to be managed.

"So I'd say Singapore, and then maybe Tokyo and Seoul. But I think Paris is out of the question for a little while."

Tourism, which was worth $152 billion last year, was smashed in 2020 by the double whammy of debilitating bushfires and then coronavirus.

Visitor arrivals were down by more than 98 per cent between April and July, compared to the same period last year.

Speaking to news.com.au, aviation expert Neil Hansford concurred with Ms Osmond, saying that following the Pacific Islands and even Singapore bubbles - he tips Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia to follow.

"I think the world understands social distancing of 1.5 to 2 metres and the opening up won't be universal," he said.

"Africa and South America could be 24-36 months away. Even with a vaccine only wealthy nations' populations will be able to afford it and even in Australia, to vaccinate all of us within three months would be impossible.

"Once other countries can demonstrate NSW levels, the world will open up."

Mr Hansford predicted travel to countries like the UK and even Hawaii would've happened between April and June next year, but the setback from Victoria's outbreak "has put back the (international travel) restart time by four or six months".

New Zealanders will be allowed into NSW, the NT and the ACT.
New Zealanders will be allowed into NSW, the NT and the ACT.

Ms Osmond said the bubbles need to be quarantine-free, with international trips the best way of putting confidence back into travel.

"People aren't nearly as willing as they could and should be to book holidays," Ms Osmond said. "That's why we're saying that there needs to be a single source of truth - a campaign from the government, for example - to make people feel safe about their investment in a holiday, and then taking that holiday.

"But try and get a booking somewhere local, like Ballina or Orange or down the NSW south coast."

Some experts predict Japan could be one of the next countries on Australia’s international travel bubble list.
Some experts predict Japan could be one of the next countries on Australia’s international travel bubble list.

The University of Technology's Tourism lecturer Dr David Beirman said while any real bubbles with Australia are hard to predict, Fiji and other Pacific Islands are likely in early 2021. Singapore, South Korea and Japan will soon follow.

"Given the high level of COVID-19 in Indonesia we may have a long wait for Bali," Dr Beirman said.

"UK, Europe and North America are in the long wait category. Quite a few countries in Asia and Europe are keen to welcome Australians but as our government has a ban on international travel we can't get there.

"Even if we did we would have to pay a fortune for the airfare to get there and quarantine on return."

When our international borders do open once again, Mr Hansford predicts the following will be the first on our travel list:

1. New Zealand

2. Pacific Islands

3. Singapore

4. Japan

5. Vietnam

6. Cambodia

7. UK

8. Germany

9. Scandinavia except Sweden

10. Ireland

Originally published as Where Aussies will be able to travel next


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