Slow and Steady Approach to Reopening Port Stephens’ Tourism

Lia, Ryan and Silas Pereira at the new and improved Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters at Anna Bay.


WHILE Tourism NSW is gearing up to promote intra state tourism followed by interstate tourism the reboot of the industry is going to see a slow and steady approach.

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This week we saw the beginnings of television promotion of holidaying in Australia even before the borders have opened.
With some attractions having to change their entire offering to accommodate social distancing.

Port Stephens is one of the Nation’s favourite holiday destinations with many businesses and workers dependent upon tourism.

Giving visitors a great time is what we are known for, and yet we need to be cautious in our rush to get back to normal.

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington told News Of The Area, ““Every person, every family and every business has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

“The tourist industry and its workers have been particularly hurt by the public health orders and the restrictions we’ve had to abide by to keep communities safe.”

For families paying the bills and keeping safe are both priorities.

There is a balancing act, social distancing and good hygiene are essential moving forward, this is all we can do while we wait for a vaccine.

“Port Stephens’ economy relies on tourism and it’s taken a huge hit.

“So we must ensure that the sacrifice they’ve made for our community’s health is repaid with proper government support.

“Locally, we must show our local businesses how much we value them by supporting them until normality returns.

Our older residents and those with underlying health conditions will remain highly vulnerable to the virus.

“But we don’t want to undo the gains we’ve seen and spoil the sacrifices that everyone has made by rushing the economic recovery too quickly and putting lives at risk in the process,” she said.

Easing restrictions doesn’t mean the virus is not coming, or isn’t here – it means we are ready in our health system to treat those in need of care as they become the statistics of the COVID-19 future.

Tourism attraction Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters owner Lia Pereira told News Of The Area, “Ryan and I are eagerly awaiting lifting of restrictions on non-essential travel.

“We have our fingers crossed that many Aussies will participate in local travel this year, venturing out into our beautiful country and taking a break away from their houses.”

The attraction which recently relocated to Anna Bay was set to open the new aquarium just as the shutdown began.

“Irukandji’s plans for a grand opening of this new site and state of the art aquarium are to be replaced by a very soft and cautious opening with close attention paid to social distancing.

“We will make sure the stream of visitors excited to see the brand new lagoon with sandy beaches will be able to do so in a safe manner.

“The animals absolutely love their new home with natural habitat and cannot wait till their friends return to play with them!,” she said.

The future is not all doom and gloom just one which will see careful planning and attention to keeping everyone safe.



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