Western Australia Tries to Woo Tourists as Safe Destination

The skyline of Perth, Western Australia, which has been largely cut off from the world.

© Shutterstock

western-australia

The skyline of Perth, Western Australia, which has been largely cut off from the world.

© Shutterstock

Its premier Mark McGowan unveiled the plan on December 1 to attract tourists, international students and workers back to Western Australia. The only catch is it's not entirely clear when that will happen.

The state, whose tourism drawcards include the Margaret River wine region and the famous Outback, put strict border controls in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, shutting out international visitors and even inter-state tourists from other parts of Australia.

"The virtue of our careful and cautious approach means Western Australia now has a new brand of safety, stability and strength, and we will use that brand to market ourselves to the world," McGowan was quoted as saying by the Western Advocate.

No tourist flood

However, the premier acknowledged that loosening border controls would not automatically lead to a flood of tourists and airlines returning to Western Australia.

The government package includes A$65 million/€41 million to re-establish pre-Covid flight routes to Perth and securing new direct routes to the state capital from countries like Germany, India, China and Vietnam. 

The premier said Western Australia was on track to open its borders by early February despite concerns about the new Omicron variant, buthe has yet to set a specific date.

Australia and neighbouring New Zealand have adopted some of the strictest border controls in the world during the pandemic, including at times only letting in their own citizens who were required to quarantine in hotels for up to two weeks.