By Juliano Oliveira
The Federal Government has announced a stimulus package to the tourism sector in which 800,000 airline tickets will be sold at half-price.
From 1 April, fares to Gold Coast, Cairns, the Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter, Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island will be cheaper.
According to the Government, flights, routes and the total number of tickets will be driven by demand and are subject to final discussions with the airlines.
Lower airline tickets rates encompass the $1.2 billion subsidy package to recover the Australian tourism sector, drastically affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
Cheap loans for businesses, direct support to keep planes in the air, and assistance to keep workers employed are also measures included in the package.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the next step in the Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan would target the businesses, workers and regions still doing it tough.
“This is our ticket to recovery – 800,000 half-price airfares to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines who continue to do it tough through COVID-19, while our international borders remain closed,” the Prime Minister said.
“This package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard. That means more jobs and investment for the tourism and aviation sectors as Australia heads towards winning our fight against COVID-19 and the restrictions that have hurt so many businesses.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack is hopeful that interstate tourism will be boosted after the new measures are put in force.
“The new Tourism Aviation Network Support (TANS) Program will give Australians clear incentives to travel to key domestic tourism areas,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“We’re working with airlines to increase the number of flights to these tourism areas – giving travellers the flexibility needed when organising dream holidays to destinations such as Tropical North Queensland and Kangaroo Island.
“We’re also backing the workforces of our international airlines and the teams and infrastructure they need so that when tourism takes off again, and our borders reopen, our airlines are ready to go.”