It may be some time before Northern Tasmanians can secure direct flights to COVID-safe states, despite a survey revealing many want to travel in coming months.
A survey conducted by Launceston Airport revealed that 60 per cent of participants would be consider interstate travel either straight away or within the next three months.
The majority of respondents earmarked Queensland as their go-to destination, with South Australia coming second.
Launceston-based travel agent Lara Gebka said Launceston’s history of having direct flights to Brisbane made Queensland a popular choice by customers.
“For my clientele it’s [Queensland] the domestic location of choice and around this time of year specifically because people want to escape the cold,” she said.
In other news:
Northern Tasmanian Development Corporation chief executive Mark Baker said the survey indicated the strong desire for North and North-West Tasmanians to travel to Queensland.
“Obviously there is an opportunity there when the government decides it is safe to resume travel to Queensland.”
While there are already direct flights from Hobart to Adelaide, Tourism and Industry Council Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said it’s going to be a slow process for Launceston to have the same.
“Long term, you’d want Launceston to be in the mix for South Australia anyway, but I’m not sure that’s going to be a realistic option in the next three to six months,” he said.
Ms Gebka said layovers were often a roadblock for customers looking to go to locations outside of Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.
“The issue we find in Launceston is that those through-ticket options are limited … you don’t get the choice you might get in Hobart or you definitely get on the mainland,” she said.
“I think Launceston to Adelaide is a very enticing route not only for the sake of being something different but it is more time-effective.”
Premier Peter Gutwein announced on Monday that borders will remain closed at least until the end of the month, putting any interstate holiday plans on hold.