Almost 600,000 half-priced flights have been sold over the past three weeks as part of the Australian government’s AUD-1.2 billion package to help tourism recover.
According to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, the uptake of cheap domestic holidays is a big win for the aviation industry, with carriers doing a roaring business.
“Australians are taking more and more trips, with airlines reporting sales dwarfing previous records – our aviation industry has achieved a remarkable turnaround from where it was one year ago,” McCormack said in a statement on April 25.
There is proof today, as we see Qantas, Virgin, Rex, and countless small airlines flying proudly, carrying Australians to their dream holidays.”
Aside from the benefit for Australians embarking on holiday at home, this is also a boon for the aviation industry and local small businesses, in addition to our tourism sector which is benefiting from these half-priced flights.
Over the past month, the government announced 800,000 half-priced flights to several destinations across the country.
It was criticized for choosing the locations of the discounted trips instead of allowing travellers to make their own decisions.
The subsidized airfares, said Australian Tourism Industry Council spokesman Simon Westaway, are just one stepping stone the sector needs to get back on its feet.
About $70.1 billion ($90 billion) in revenue was lost to the pandemic last year, with hospitality and accommodation jobs plummeting into free fall.
The Trade Minister, Dan Tehan, announced on April 25 that Australia was making appropriate investments at the right time in order to assist the recovery of the economy.
“More than 75 per cent of our half-price tickets have been sold,” he said.
My message to Australians is to book cheap holidays through your travel agent and to spend on tourism activities and night outs while on vacation to support tourism jobs and businesses.”
“For every one dollar (AUD) spent on a flight, 10 will be spent on the ground—I have been speaking to so many people in the tourism industry, they all told me how this program made a difference.
Tehan said, in a statement, “Our National Economic Recovery Plan will continue to invest in the tourism industry, as we have done during the pandemic, to support jobs across Australia.”