Another weekend, another lockdown. Brisbane at the end of March, now Perth. It’s probably only because someone sensible is filling in for Daniel Andrews that Melbourne hasn’t slammed the doors shut too.
It would be laughable if it wasn’t for the economic damage wrought by lockdowns, particularly on the poor punch-drunk tourism sector. Sightings of international visitors are fewer than appearances of rare migratory birds. And the premiers are doing their very best to make us reconsider anything other than to pack the pink zinc and drive a few hours to a beach house. Doing their best — and succeeding.
After the Brisbane fiasco, polling company Essential Research asked about views towards interstate travel and government (read taxpayer) funded tourism campaigns. The results were emphatic:
Emphatic across all sectors:
This polling comes from a fortnight ago. It’s hard to imagine anything much has changed, given Mark McGowan’s three day wonder. Who wants a getaway to turn into compulsory quarantine, with swabs up your nose instead of complimentary cocktails?
International tourism is shot and domestic tourism wounded badly by bullet fragments.
Those bullets are going to continue to ricochet around until the premiers stop being spooked by single sneezes.
What will be left of our tourism industry then remains to be seen.
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