Travel boss predicts when we can travel intrastate and then, overseas

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Helloworld boss Andrew Burnes says international travel is at least nine to 12 months away from returning and says that New Zealand and the South Pacific could likely be the first destinations reopened to us.

“Destinations such as New Zealand and possibly some South Pacific countries could be among the first to open to Australian visitors and vice-versa,” he wrote in a letter to Helloworld agents.

venezuela from a plane window

“Beyond that, and in the absence of a widely distributed vaccine (and even if there is a vaccine, it will take a long time for it to be widely distributed), the rest of the world will slowly open up to travel, with corporate travel recovering initially followed by leisure travel not too far behind it.

“But re-emergence of international travel is nine to 12 months away from today, so in the meantime it’s going to require a tremendous amount of discipline for travel businesses to basically go into hibernation for the next six months or so.”

According to The Australian, Mr Burnes also believes the cruising sector would return to popularity once it is clear health and safety measures are beyond reproach, and when near ICU facilities were installed on all vessels, which would most likely be mid next year.

“Cruise has proven to be one of the most popular sectors of the leisure travel industry in the world. The product is popular, well priced and delivers an all-inclusive break that people enjoy,” he wrote.

“Cruise companies are going to have to have significantly increased cleaning and disinfecting measures, commit to much better on-board health including immediate isolation capabilities, respirators and other near ICU facilities and to stringent health checks for all embarking and disembarking passengers and crew.”

He also discussed the coronavirus recovery process and how travel industry wouldn’t start opening up for international business until next year.

“The key is to be there to throw the doors wide open again when the world begins to get moving,” he wrote.

“That will most likely not happen until 2021 and it will not happen with any degree of consistency either.”

He suggested that by 2021 the government will allow travel to a limited number of overseas destinations, on a bilateral basis, to which we could travel and return without the need for quarantine. Australians might be permitted to visit Canada at some point, with no post-return quarantine, but the US would remain a no-go for quite some time.

“Or Australians might be permitted to visit the US and Chile but not be able to travel to the US from Chile. The permutations are endless.”

He said travel agents will be a traveller’s biggest asset, as it will be difficult for lay planners to navigate the post-pandemic complexities of international travel.

“Getting to the other side of this is everyone’s greatest challenge. It’s a challenge for airlines, agents, wholesalers, cruise companies, hotels, resorts, tour operators – everyone. And it will come at a cost, both financial and personal,” he wrote.

Mr Burnes predicted that stage three lockdowns would be eased “slowly” within the next five to six weeks, after which, intrastate could resume.

“Later this year, maybe in July or August, some domestic intrastate travel will begin on a state by state basis. And it will be different for different states. Then at some point, hopefully by September (October at the latest), cross-border travel will be permitted, and domestic flights will start to resume, with frequencies increasing as time goes by on condition that infection rates remain, at the very least, tightly controlled and manageable with our given health resources.”

He added that once the world is back on its feet, there will be an incredible demand for travel.

“There will be an enormous amount of activity to bolster travel demand once things start to open up again,’’ he said.

“In 2019, travel contributed $US9.25trn ($14.5trn) to the global economy and 325 million jobs worldwide. For many countries it is their most significant contributor to GDP and employment, and we can expect to see a lot of marketing funds being directed to driving demand once visitors are able to return to key destinations globally and they will be welcomed with open arms.”

Where is the first place in your state you’ll visit when restrictions are lifted? What about overseas? Will you cruise again?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 18
  1. 0

    No I will never cruise. I will never put managing my daily health into someone else’s charge. Cruise companies have demonstrated that their out their bottom line above passenger and staff health. Greed will remain.

    • 0

      Have you ever cruised Dorothy?. I have done 24 cruises. the problem with cruising is that the people coming on board sign a declaration that they are not sick, but some of them are. if you sit next to a sick person on a plane- you would get sick too. Cruise lines reports their sick people to authorities- Airlines DO NOT report sickness. I get sick more from planes than cruising.
      The only bad thing about most cruise lines is the “buffet” area. p&O cruise line stopped the self serve buffet some years ago- You did not hear of 1 single person getting the virus on a P&O ship in Australia- Not 1. Once the other cruise lines changes from self serve to being served, this will reduce a huge amount of the problems.
      And just so you know they have cleaners all the time cleaning all touchable areas, especially when people are sleeping. Only on a cruise ship do you see signs to use a paper towel to open the public toilet door when you leave.
      The newer built cruise ships now have Sinks with taps and soap, and you are not allowed into the buffet area with out physically washing your hands. The crew person tells you to
      “washy, washy” as you approach the buffet doors.

      Stay safe- “washy, washy”.

    • 0

      I had been on 2 cruises in the 70’s, when a number of passengers came down with seasickness or gastro problems, so I was pleasantly surprised 30 years later, when I went on a cruise to Noumea that there were stewards at the doors of all eating areas with hand sanitiser which you had to use before getting into the dining room. A later cruise also repeatedly announced the message of the importance of washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after visiting the restroom.
      I feel safer on a cruiseliner than I do jammed into Economy on a plane, for travel to the USA or Europe, from Australia. I prefer cruising to long distance flying.

  2. 0

    Wow isn’t that strange coming from one in the industry that “international travel is at least nine to 12 months away”. Maybe he should tell APT that as their tours from July onwards are apparently still going ahead and so they want to charge full cancellation fees if you don’t want to risk your life. If you want to defer you need to pay $250 (previously $1,000 according to reviews online) plus any airline change fees for bookings already made. A much smaller tour provider has already refunded me in full for a European trip. What is wrong with a big company like APT! Not to mention that I haven’t heard of anyone yet who has been able to claim against their junk travel insurance because it was declared a pandemic. I am going to wait until they finally wake up that these trips will eventually get cancelled and then reconsider what to do. I am also going to keep an eye on the overseas airline they are using to see if they cancel the flight. Hopefully if they cancel I will have a better chance of getting back some of the thousands of dollars I have already paid. Our Government needs to take a long hard look at the travel and insurance industries after this as it has left a very bad taste in a lot of our mouths. We need better protections for consumers and we need them NOW.

    • 0

      Totally agree with you Hardworker. We were booked on an APT river cruise in Europe which has naturally been cancelled. APT’s response has been atrocious. Will never travel with them again.

  3. 0

    Have been on two trips with Princess line.
    Dawn Princess last trip around the top of Australia. My wife and my self finished up with Pneumonia. The day of arrival (mothers day ) in Fremantle drove home to Australind. Midnight had to rush my wife to ED Bunbury Hospital. Unable to breath–Pneumonia. & days later I had Pneumonia.
    Next trip Saffphire Princess May 2019 both had the flue for the 2 weeks on the ship to the Balkans and two weeks in Malta and London after the boat trip.
    The records (2020) so far with the Princess Line ships is not good. Will not even think of travel with them again. No problems on a plane to Europe.

    • 0

      Trouble with aircraft bobm is you spend less than one day to get anywhere in the world whereas on a ship you may spend weeks or months on the ship. If you pick up an infection on an aircraft it will be days later before you get symptoms, long after you have unpacked. On a ship any infection you pick up will most likely appear while you are still on the ship. End result is that people tend not to “blame” the aircraft but are only too willing to blame the ship. Ships or aircraft do not infect people, it is other people.

  4. 0

    When borders are open my mother will visit us here, she is in NSW, us in Queensland. We are mainly waiting on being able to fly Queensland to WA for my hubby to visit his very elderly mother. I would like to visit my very elderly father too but he is in UK so maybe not in the short term. We have some credit with qantas from a postponed NZ trip, we booked that in January so we have to use it by Jan 2021.
    As for cruising, my mother does regularly but for me, no thanks. Never appealed to me to be shut on a ship with a squillion other people eating and drinking as much as they can.

  5. 0

    Our next trip will be to NT. Our 14 day trip to Darwin and environs was booked for 18 April but had to be cancelled for this year so it looks like next year. We also had to cancel a trip to WA to attend a wedding on 28 March, wedding had to be postponed to a date to be advised. We had planned to do southern NT next year, caravan via Adelaide to Alice Springs and Uluru and up to Tennant Creek then back through Queensland and NSW. That may be 2022 now.

  6. 0

    no more cruises for me, with 1000’s of people.
    will gladly go on 100 people or less cruises.
    just goes to show that we are better off travelling in our own country for sooo many reasons.
    safe travelling everyone

    • 0

      I know how you feel Florgan but you can get sick anywhere at any time. The only times I have been sick when travelling was in Canada and Alaska when the so called Canadian flu hit but was lucky enough to have antibiotics with me so fared fairly well. Not so my companion who did not take antibiotics. The other time was in AUSTRALIA and I had vomiting and diarrhoea. That type of sickness is caused by other people’s lack of hygiene and can happen anywhere because you can’t see it. One can only do so much but we shouldn’t let it stop us from travelling and enjoying ourselves. Less people are going to have the money to travel in the future due to lots of reasons, one being the tour operators who are only thinking of themselves and not giving refunds. Who would want to use them again!

  7. 0

    I have owned two blue water yachts (40ft) and sailed from Darwin to Melbourne, I have never been on a large cruise ship , I think I would be frustrated because I couldn’t be at the helm. We have been on a couple large ferries with our Motorhome, chanel crossings to Europe and the Scandinavian ferries to Russia but they were mostly overnight We enjoy our Motorhome travels as we control our own destiny

    • 0

      Same here double j. Only one 40 Ft yacht, but owned for 19 years. I did 53,000 miles around the Pacific islands over 6 years, & was not sick once.

      I did about 30,000 miles in HMAS Melbourne, & HMAS Vendetta, previously & was sick a number of times. Stick with the little ships, it’s safer.

      I also agree about feeling frustrated as a passenger on a cruise ship. I ran tourist boats & resorts in the Whitsundays for 10 years after I came home, & really enjoyed it mostly. After I retired I was invited back a couple of times to run training courses. These only kept me busy for 2 or 3 hours a day. Particularly the second time, I was going stir crazy after the first week, on an island with nothing to do. I’m sure a ship would be worse.

  8. 0

    Well I don’t leave Australia, I’ve never had the money, even cheap fares to the US hasn’t persuaded me, and I don’t like flying to Melbourne, but I love Melbourne, and I go, it costs a fortune and that needs to change so we can tour inside OUR OWN NATION!

    As for Cruise ship NEVER, way before the coronavirus, I travelled by train from Melbourne to Shepparton, met a family who had just got off a cruise around the Pacific Islands, and there was an outbreak of food poisoning or some rotten stomach virus or germ, there was 6 people from the bush, all but two, had been sick, the cruise was not a good experience they said, and at one stage some people who were really sick had to be helicoptered off the cruiser!
    Now I’ve heard of this more than once, and imagine paying all that money and NO CORONA VIRUS EVEN?? Yet cruising has made lots of people crook in the past!
    We have thought of doing it, but really I just would never take the chance, 2 weeks costing a bit , and feeling terrible, why would you bother!
    Yet it appears lots of oldies do it, I have never understood why?

  9. 0

    For the record- Approximately 30 million people cruised in 2019. The media just want to post the “negative”stories. For every bad story there would be 3 million great stories, that nobody ever hears about. 3 million to 1 of great stories about their dedicated cabins stewards, the entertainers, the cooks, the meals, the great ports, The Captain that steers the ships away from storms. The great friends made on cruises. I could go on for a really long time about the Good stories about cruising. But nobody wants to hear the good stories- think about it 30 million passengers! And about 3 million or more in rotating crew.

    • 0

      Yep, my mother and her hubby (in 70s/80s) have nothing but good stories. They cruise a lot. As much good food and booze as you want, lots of shows, they get treated well, they laze about and do nothing. Always come home rested and a few kgs heavier. They keep saying to us to go, but it just doesn’t appeal. I get too impatient to be there!



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