Australia welcomes back international tourists

  • Media release

Australia welcomes back visitors from the rest of the world from today.

The first international flights carrying tourists are due to land across the country today, as Australia reopens its borders to double vaccinated arrivals.

The return of double vaccinated international visitors will reinvigorate Australia's tourism sector, that supports 660,000 jobs and contributed $60.4 billion to the economy in 2018-19.

There are more than 1.23 million student, visitor and working holiday maker visa holders offshore who, if vaccinated, will be able to travel to Australia from 21 February 2022. Since November, 92,000 visitors, 80,000 international students, 35,000 skilled visa holders and 5,600 Working Holiday Makers have arrived in Australia.

Fifty-six international flights are due to arrive in Australia on Monday, including 27 into Sydney, from the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Japan and other destinations.

To celebrate the return of international arrivals, Australia has rolled out the welcome mat, with special events planned at Sydney International Airport.

The first visitors back in Sydney will be greeted with gifts of Vegemite and toy koalas and kangaroos, an iconic Surf Life Saving crew and a DJ playing Australia's favourite tunes.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said the return of international arrivals was an important step in Australia's COVID-19 recovery.

“Australia's health and economic response to the pandemic has been among the best in the world, with one of the highest vaccination rates and low mortality,” Mr Tehan said.

“We are successfully managing the pandemic and learning to live with the virus. Australians are travelling overseas, and we are welcoming international visitors to our country.

“International tourists will come here to see our iconic attractions, sample our world-leading food and drink, learn about our Indigenous culture, and enjoy the Australian way of life.

“Australia is the best country in the world and we're excited to be sharing it with the rest of the world again.

Tourism Australia has launched a $40 million international marketing campaign to coincide with the reopening of our international borders as the first step in a long-term strategy to restart tourism to Australia, with further investment in tourism marketing campaigns internationally to come in the second half of the year.

Visa holders who are not fully vaccinated will still require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia, and will be subject to state and territory quarantine requirements.

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