Border opening worth up to $73m a week in tourism for NSW
Reopening the southern border would provide a much-needed boost to the state's bottom line, with NSW tipped to gain up to $73 million a week from Victorians when tourism re-emerges.
Before the pandemic, Victorians accounted for $3.8 billion, or 16 per cent, of the $23.7 billion spent each year by overnight visitors in NSW, according to figures from the state treasury.
This equates to a weekly loss of about $73 million when the border is closed.
The revenue gained from opening the border to Victoria is expected to increase slowly at first but it's hoped the tourism spend will return to normal when all state borders are opened.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Wednesday confirmed the border to Victoria will come down on November 23, claiming it would take "something very extraordinary" for her government to change its plans.
"Unless there is something very extraordinary which occurs between the date that Premier Andrews allows Melburnians to move throughout Victoria and the 23rd of November, I don't foresee us changing that date," Ms Berejiklian said.
The Premier indicated new cases could be expected once restrictions eased further in Victoria but said it was possible to manage a spike in cases if that did occur.
"I'm confident that other states will have that capacity (to get on top of an outbreak)," she said. "They've certainly had long enough to prepare for this."
Ms Berejiklian said her decision to open the border to Victoria highlighted "the lack of logic" with the Western Australian and Queensland government's border strategy.
The aviation sector has welcomed the border announcement which is set to increase demand for flights.
Virgin Australia has immediately moved to increase services. From November 23, the airline will operate four daily return services between Sydney and Melbourne, increasing frequency ahead of Christmas holidays.
From the same date Qantas and Jetstar will operate more than 250 flights per week across five routes, offering travellers 48,000 seats between the two states.
This compares with just 10 return flights per week currently operating between Melbourne and Sydney.
Allowing Victorians to travel to NSW is set to increase revenue for tourist hot spots such as Byron Bay.
Over the border businesses on the Gold Coast, such as the Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, are also looking to the return of tourism dollars.
Part owner of the Mez Club Rob Doherty said business was already up 80 on this time last year.
"Normally in the summer we start getting busy around December early January but we've been flat out for the last two months it's been fantastic," he said.
Claudia Priestley, 24, travelled to Byron Bay from Sydney with friends this week after taking time off work.
"We've come to Byron to relax and get out of Sydney after what's been a pretty dire year," she said.
Originally published as Border opening worth up to $73m a week in tourism for NSW