Tourism operator Sydney Seaplanes will begin offering “significant discounts” to vaccinated Australians, in an effort to drive up local immunisation rates and re-open international borders.
The operator has announced the launch of its ‘#OpenSkies’ campaign, which will offer 25 per cent discounts to customers who pledge to become fully vaccinated by the time of their flight, if not already.
The initiative is valid for bookings made prior to 31 August for flights through to 31 December 2021.
Customers need not be fully vaccinated at the time of booking, however they will need to share their COVID-19 digital immunisation certificate prior to taking their flight, the company said.
“The impact of COVID on the local tourism sector has been devastating, and it will only recover when enough Australians are vaccinated for domestic and international travel to return,” said Sydney Seaplanes CEO Aaron Shaw.
“As vaccine supply starts to ramp up between now and the end of the year, it’s critical we encourage as many Australians as possible to get vaccinated.
“By joining the #openskies campaign, tourism operators can encourage higher vaccination rates by offering attractive discounts or benefits to locals who do the right thing by their fellow Australians.”
The company has reassured customers that any flights cancelled due to COVID restrictions will have their booking refunded as credit with Sydney Seaplanes to be used anytime over the next two years.
A strong uptake of vaccinations has long been heralded as the key to reopening Australia’s borders, which have been almost entirely shut to the rest of the world since March 2020.
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Sydney Seaplanes joins a number of aviation businesses across the country in introducing new tactics to encourage Australians to get vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Airport has launched a competition offering a $10,000 cash prize to select vaccinated Australians, to be spent on travel.
Current estimates suggest that Australia’s international borders could open up once at least 80 per cent of the population has been vaccinated.
Last month, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that digital vaccine passports would be rolled out for Australians by October, and stated that the government is likely to mandate that both travellers in and out of Australia be vaccinated.
“Obviously, those who are vaccinated have a much lower risk of infection than those who are not vaccinated,” he said.
PM Morrison said there will be a “strong preference” to only allow people to leave Australia if they have been vaccinated.
“That reduces the risk both to them personally, because as we know COVID is through many countries around the world and many other places Australians will travel to, and that, of course, reduces the risk when they return to Australia,” he said.
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