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How Covid-19 Has Affected Traveling In Australia

Just like the rest of the world, Australia has also fallen victim to the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic which has affected almost every business sector under the sun. As expectedly, many businesses in the travel and tourism sector in the country have been temporarily closed or they have suffered many revenue losses over the course of the last 18 months and counting. Along with them, a variety of other connected sectors such as gambling and hospitality have also taken a great hit.

Many voices call the Coronavirus crisis the most important crisis in the history of worldwide travel. Let us take a deeper look at the impact of the pandemic on Australian tourism, along with a few aspects regarding the Aussie gambling scene in relation to the ongoing travel restrictions.

Tourism, One Of The Most Severely Affected Sectors By The Covid-19 Pandemic

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In 2018-2019, tourism represented little over 3 percent of the country's GDP, as well as over 8 percent of the total earnings from exports. At the same time, 2019 was a year worth close to $61 billion in terms of economic value and things were looking pretty bright for the upcoming months as well. However, March 2020 came, and with it the dreadful global lockdown announcement that soon turned into a palpable reality for nations across the planet. Aussie planes were suddenly grounded, hotels and the rest of the venues dedicated to tourists completely closed, and we all nostalgically watched our favourite cruise ships be quarantined indefinitely.

The Gambling Industry During The Pandemic

One of the most powerful magnets for both domestic and international travellers, casinos, also took a big hit during the pandemic in the land Down Under. The fact that all forms of internal and international travel that were not considered essential were banned didn't help the gambling sector at all. On the contrary, it led to a net gambling revenue of $511 million for the 2020-2021 period, down from $680 million, a figure that had been consistent in the previous three years.

However, while offline casinos were forced to lock their doors to the millions of yearly tourists and travellers eager to get a taste of the world-famous Australian casino experience, online venues started getting thrown into the spotlight more than ever. Passionate players and people looking for new ways to stay entertained at home embraced online gambling among other activities.

Gambling Spree Post-Lockdowns & Its Effects On The Gambling Sector

Plus, on their way out of the dreaded lockdowns, South Australians were finally able to physically travel and engage in some of their favourite activities. Hitting the poker machines was on top of many people's lists. As expected, it wasn't truly a matter of winning or losing, but getting a sense of normality once again, seeing the reels spin and spending the night at a luxury hotel in a nearby city. This gaming and travelling spree actually triggered the largest pokies revenue to be officially recorded in the last decade and a half - $769.87 million.

The impressive numbers were obtained despite the continuous cut in the number of pokie machine entitlements, which are being retired as new ones are taking their place. Plus, they did not include the popular Adelaide Casino and its 1,000+ gaming machines, or its expansion worth several million opened in December. $320 million of the revenue reached the state government in the form of taxes and the sum was, without a doubt, a major turnaround on a year hit by continuous coronavirus shutdowns.

Only time will tell if the growth will continue in the upcoming months, as 2020 and 2021 are both years that broke all the rules in the book and a lot of people received additional incomes from different government institutions, yet had few options to spend it on - which would further explain the boost in gaming and travel activities post-lockdown.

Current Travel Situation & What The Future Holds

At the moment, there are discussions regarding the possibility of Australia opening its borders for expats who were locked out of the country since the spring of 2020, and many are excited to be finally able to visit their relatives and travel within the country. For now, entry to Australia is still closed to most arrivals, but Aussie citizens, as well as returning permanent residents and their immediate family members, are allowed to cross the borders.

As for travellers who do not have Australian citizenship, they will need to undertake the mandatory 14-day quarantine at a facility designated by the country before they are allowed to start hitting the casinos and exploring the most popular attractions.

Travellers will need to continue to follow all travel recommendations in the country. Being fully vaccinated is one essential requirement here and unvaccinated travellers are advised to avoid any form of travel that is not essential, given the high risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 Delta variant, as well as other coronavirus variants.

In the meanwhile, the demand for tourism and travel will continue to be high, even though the focus may still mostly remain on less distant travel destinations within the country.

This website developed and maintained by Australian Travel & Tourism Network Pty Limited for Australian Travel Service providers © last updated 13-Jul-2022