Australia misses overseas tourists in pandemic scenario

 Saturday, February 19, 2022 


It was a bright spring morning just before the COVID-19 pandemic when Kate Bradley came outside of her café on a berry farm on Tasmania’s east coast, looked at the view and became speechless.

It was not the restless waters of the Great Oyster Bay or the silent ink-blue mountains of the Freycinet National Park that took her breath away.

It was 16 tourist buses packed with hundreds of Chinese travelers.

“I looked at the car park and got quite a shock. It was absolutely packed, so I went in and told the girls, ‘Get your act together, we’re going to be flat out today’,” said Ms. Bradley.

Ms. Bradley established Kate’s Berry Farm 34 years ago, and the farm became a must-stop spot for thousands of Chinese tourists on their way to Tasmania’s iconic Wineglass Bay.

“We used to get around 50,000 visitors each year before the pandemic and I would say 70 per cent of them were from China,” Ms. Bradley said.

However, todaythey miss those hordes of travelers.

“Let’s just say it’s a bit quiet nowadays and we have a lot more time to make strawberry jam,” she said.
Businesses – small and large – across Australia have accepted the brunt of lack of international tourists.

AntheaHammon, managing director of Scenic World, said that it’s been extremely hard for the business due to lack of those tourists.

“We have been surviving for more than two years with less than 25 per cent of our usual visitation. The domestic market didn’t really make up the difference unfortunately,” said Ms.Hammon.

In Victoria, it’s a similar story for other tourism businesses.

Up to 70 per cent of the total visitors, or about half a million people at Phillip Island Nature Parks were international visitors in 2019.It has allvanished in the past two years.

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