Border warning: '3000 businesses and 40,000 jobs on line'
The future of 3000 tourism businesses and more than 40,000 jobs on the Glitter Strip is under threat unless Queensland reopens to Sydney travel, according to the boss of Gold Coast Airport.
Queensland Airports CEO Chris Mills said resuming travel with the bulk of NSW was vital to the Gold Coast and the state.
"We urge the Queensland Government to move quickly and re-open this critical market," he said.
"Last year 2.7 million passengers travelled between the Gold Coast and Sydney and this was the fourth busiest route in the country.
"In the Gold Coast Airport precinct alone, more than 2000 jobs are supported by the airport's operations and in the past six months, traffic has been down 97 per cent - representing 3.08 million fewer people."
The Rydges Gold Coast Airport hotel opened just last week in the hope of an impending decision to reopen the borders beyond the existing 'border bubble' taking in the far north coast of NSW.
Mr Mills said delaying the return of Sydney travellers would be a further blow to the economy.
"We have seen good bookings for the flights from Sydney scheduled next week, and the first flight on Sunday is almost full," he said.
"To turn them away at short notice would be a real blow to the Gold Coast's recovery.
"People are booking their summer holidays now, so the opening of the border is not just critical for immediate travel but will significantly influence the number of visitors we have in the city for months to come.
"Further delays and uncertainty on the border opening will impact confidence in future bookings.
"We don't understand why we have to wait until two days before the potential opening to find out what is happening.
"Airlines need time to schedule flights, travellers need to book with confidence, and employers need to be able to roster staff accordingly."
Originally published as Border warning: 3000 businesses, 40,000 jobs on line