April 19 will be a historic day, with New Zealand and Australia to finally share reciprocal no-quarantine travel. While nothing is set in stone with COVID-19, the declaration is the surest step yet towards opened borders.
And when your economy is as reliant on tourism as ours, the decision is great news.
Although Kiwis won't be able to fly directly into Launceston Airport, the state's reputation and many must-see attractions will hopefully see travellers add Northern Tasmania to their itinerary. Perhaps a flight from Auckland to Brisbane for a few nights, then a visit to Tasmania to see Cradle Mountain, the Cataract Gorge, the Bay of Fires and Hobart before flying back home? Not a bad way to spend a week or two.
However, Tasmania must be active in marketing the state to our Trans-Tasman friends and sort out our hire car fiasco ASAP.
People are already thinking twice about coming here - the sacrifice of a limb to be able to afford to get around is too much.
Broad employment figures have been better than expected so far, but the end of JobKeeper is yet to be fully quantified.
A saving grace for some businesses has likely been the captive audience of Australians, offering some salve to the void left by foreign visitors. Tasmanians have been great at holidaying at home, but at some stage the shackles need to be released.
Many holidaymakers will still be unwilling to risk a 14-day quarantine either in New Zealand or upon return. Levels of demand remain to be seen, along with many of the logistics, but it is a promising step towards the elusive normal.
Of course, the pace of the vaccine rollout is likely to ground any flights of fancy about a smorgasbord of destinations. Beyond the bubble it is likely passengers will require the inoculation to travel. Precisely when Australians will have received their first jab, let alone the second, is hard to predict.
Tardiness may have real economic consequences, particularly if Australia falls behind other nations in the minds of potential visitors. The world is beginning to leave hibernation. Caution comes first, but unlocking an international destination is proof we're flying in the right direction.
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