Booking bonanza as Queensland reopens to Sydney
Demand for Queensland holidays surged almost 100 per cent in just three hours after the decision to ease travel restrictions on Greater Sydney.
In a timely vote of confidence in the Queensland tourism industry, demand for Queensland holidays from NSW travellers on booking website Wotif.com spiked more than 95 per cent.
As well as being Australia's most populous city, Sydney is not surprisingly Queensland's biggest tourism market.
In 2019, travellers from Sydney injected about $10 million a day into the Queensland economy.
Last year's statistics, decimated by the pandemic, are expected to be released in the coming months, but while experts concede the easing of border restrictions will not recapture 2019 spending levels until travellers gain more confidence, the move will still be worth millions to Queensland's ailing tourism industry.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind said operators were already doing their best to regain consumer confidence by offering greater flexibility with bookings and refund policies.
"We're already seeing that," he said.
"In some cases there may be legitimate reasons why refunds can't be given at the last minute if provisions have already been paid for, but there has to be a reasonable shift towards that to give consumers the confidence and trust that they are not going to lose their money.
"Hopefully this will be the last of the closures which is some welcome news because Sydney is such an important market."
Wotif managing director Daniel Finch said the early data showed there was still strong demand for Queensland holiday destinations.
"It's clear many travellers are thrilled with today's announcement, especially those who are yet to reunite with family or may have missed out on their summer holiday in December," he said.
"The immediate uptick we're seeing proves Aussies are eager to resume interstate travel as soon as possible and we hope this is an encouraging sign for travellers, who now have time to plan ahead for Easter and the April school holidays."
Originally published as Tourism boom: Booking bonanza as Qld reopens to Sydney