The first thing Australia needs to do for its tourism recovery is reopen the country’s state borders where it is safe, says John Hart, executive chair of the Australia Chamber of Tourism.
‘There seems to be the attitude that keeping people safe is about locking them down, rather than allowing safe travel. While that happens there won’t be a recovery.’
The airline industry has plenty of disruption still to come and desperately needs restructuring, a high level virtual conference heard this week.
In his introduction to the 2020 Aviation Summit, CAPA Centre of Aviation chairman emeritus, Peter Harbison, said that the industry has seen about a 60% drop in passenger numbers globally during the crisis.
People in the Asia Pacific region are less likely to feel confident about international travel right now than those in Europe and USA.
Gavin Harris, commercial director of strategic partnerships with Skyscanner, says the company’s latest weekly travel pulse data shows that globally, 19% of people say they would feel safe travelling internationally now.
Despite QF’s ultra-long haul flights, dubbed Project Sunrise, currently being shelved, Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce predicts that when borders open it will be the type of service to resonate even more with passengers.
‘There is likely to be a stronger business case for flights like Sydney / Melbourne to London or New York, without the necessity to stop anywhere on the way.’
Having a certain percentage of the aircraft unoccupied may serve to reassure passengers in the early emergence from Covid restrictions, but it is not a sustainable business model, according to Bill Franke, managing director of Indigo Partners.
Speaking on a CAPA Centre for Aviation webinar this week, Franke says there has been a lot of talk and photos in the media and on social sites showing where all the seats are taken and people are complaining about the lack of social distancing.
To sell New Zealand as a year round destination, the tourism industry should avoid the word winter, says Nathan Farmer of Big Picture.
A plea to reduce the number of regional tourism offices (RTOs) protecting borders that nobody else cares about was made at the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Summit in Hilton Auckland this week.
There is some confusion around the new relationship between Air New Zealand and Qantas that follows the cessation of the current NZ-VA partnership, says Cam Wallace, chief revenue officer with Air New Zealand.
The evolution of the trans-Tasman market, including discussion into how the market will evolve now that the Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia partnership has dissolved, will be just one of the topics discussed at the CAPA 2018 New Zealand & Corporate Travel Summit in Auckland on 17 and 18 October.