Industry welcomes return of working holidaymakers to Australia

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Businesses and advocates for accommodation and hospitality have universally welcomed and welcomed the Australian government’s announcement this week to continue to reopen its international border to skilled workers and working holidaymakers.

From December 1, international migration to Australia will resume gradually with eligible fully vaccinated visa holders able to come to Australia without travel exemption. The latest eligibility list also includes interim family visa holders, qualified and student visa holders, and humanitarian visa holders such as refugees.

The move was hailed as a welcome relief by long-suffering hotel companies who, since reopening, have been starved of staff, as many of their operational and customer-facing roles before the pandemic were occupied by students. and working vacationers, many of whom have opted to return to their home countries to overcome the pandemic.

Hospitality companies are eager to fill over 100,000 vacancies.

Under the new allowances, travelers entering approved visa subclasses must be fully immunized with a vaccine recognized by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, must provide proof of their immunization status and present a negative PCR test performed within three days after their departure flight to Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the return of skilled migrants and students is a major step on the country’s road to recovery.

“This is an important step in what the Australians have been able to accomplish and allow us to do. It will mean a lot to the economies of our country which need these workers and want to see these students return. And, therefore, we look forward to this happening from December 1st. “

Michael Johnson, CEO of LR Tourism Accommodation Australia, and Richard Munro, CEO of the Accommodation Association.

Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson said he was very happy to hear about the return of international students and vacationers.

“International students will contribute to labor shortages and the economy of visitors to the places where they study,” Johnson said.

“WHMs tend to travel more to the regions, hoping to see the best that Australia has to offer and to support both the visitor economy and the labor market in the areas. popular vacations as well as in the country’s CBD. There will be a lag when they arrive though, so on top of that we need more local young people to join our industry. “

Accommodation Association president Leanne Harwood said she represented an industry with vacancies nearing 100,000 and that while the announcement was welcome, a 21-month lockdown did wreaking havoc on the workforce.

“We look forward to continuing to work with government at the state, territory and federal level to work together to get back to full force,” Harwood said.

“In reality, it won’t be until 2022. We also need a consistent approach from state and territory governments regarding quarantine-free travel for all fully vaccinated arrivals who can show with a PCR test result. current that they are COVID-negative. “

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