Andrew McKellar interview with David Koch, Sunrise, Seven

02 Nov 2021 |

Event: Andrew McKellar interview with David Koch, Sunrise, Seven

Speakers: David Koch, co-host Sunrise; Andrew McKellar   chief executive Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Date: 2 November 2021

Topics: Abolishing quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals, international tourists, international students, skilled migrants.


David Koch, co-host Sunrise: Joining me now is the head of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Andrew McKellar. Andrew, this really is a bind for the tourism industry, isn’t it? While borders were closed, all of us stayed here and spent our money. Now a lot are going to go overseas.

Andrew McKellar, chief executive Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry: Yes good morning, Kochie. Look, you’re totally right. It is a difficult situation for the Australian tourism industry. As you say, the industry has been crippled really over the past, nearly two years. It’s lost about $100 billion in revenue. And look, our appeal is simply that the federal  government look to get those international borders fully open to vaccinated people, vaccinated travellers, as soon as it possibly can. That’s the only way that we are going to
optimize the extent of the recovery going forward, otherwise we risk losing customers. We’re going to be shut out in terms of the rest of the world. We’re seeing other markets go ahead now and open up. So that’s a very difficult situation and we just don’t need to continue with these very prohibitive quarantine arrangements for much longer.

David: So how much is it costing the industry not letting international tourists in? And what sort of timeframe do you want the borders open to international tourists? Because indications from the federal government, they’ve told us here on Sunrise, it’s likely Easter next year.

Andrew: Look, that’s too far away. As I say, over the past 18 months or so it’s been about $100 billion in turnover that has been lost. It’s not just tourism, by the way. I mean, international students, that’s a $40 billion a year industry. So these are huge losses that the economy is incurring. We’ve got fully vaccinated Australians coming back in now. That’s a great thing. But obviously look, we need to be able to open up to people who are fully vaccinated coming from other parts of the world, otherwise we’re just falling behind. We’re shooting ourselves in the foot if we don’t do this because many other can countries are getting ahead of us already.

David: Okay. Andrew, thanks for your point of view.

Andrew: Thank you.

Jack Quail

Media Officer

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