Let’s face it – a lot of Tasmanians are probably in desperate need of a good holiday right now. But where to go?
For many, it’s a touchy subject, with international travel plans all but halted for 2020. But, according to a recent survey conducted by Launceston Airport, more than 60 per cent of people would consider travelling within Australia in the three months after border restrictions have been lifted.
Of the 2500 respondents, the top travel destination of choice was Queensland – with 48.23 per cent of the votes. This was closely followed by South Australia on 32 per cent and then Victoria with 25 per cent.
While surveys such as this one provide interesting insights, it’s important to note voting was completed about three weeks ago. And with the pace of change we have sadly become accustomed to throughout this pandemic, it’s fair to say things are clearly a lot different now then they were three weeks ago.
The release of the survey results happened to coincide with the latest border update from Premier Peter Gutwein, confirming that anyone originating from coronavirus hotspots in Queensland would now be blocked from entering Tasmania.
It’s the third in a growing list of states this measure has been applied to, as a second wave of COVID-19 outbreaks continue to wreak havoc in Victoria and NSW.
We are now less than a week away from a planned travel bubble commencing with South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, but even this remains subject to public health advice. So the question remains, who is planning on travelling interstate soon, and why?
For the majority of survey respondents the number one reason given was not a holiday (which was second), but rather to visit friends or family. It seems what was once just a “short flight away” now seems like an infinite level of separation for anyone with loved ones on the mainland.
But what is clear is that despite the pressures of the pandemic, the demand for travel remains. For Northern Tasmanians, Launceston Airport remains a vital part of ensuring our future connectivity.
And while a lot of elements around interstate travel are indeed still “up in the air”, securing direct flights out of Launceston have never been more important.
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