SYDNEY - While Australia has been largely successful in containing the spread of the coronavirus, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said on Wednesday that the country is likely to keep its border closed to international travellers until next year.
However, a quarantine rule for returning citizens could be applied to international students and other visitors who plan to stay for a long period of time, Birmingham was quoted by Reuters as saying.
With nearly 10 million Australians spending A$65 billion (US$44 million) on overseas travel last year, the federal government is now encouraging Australians to explore their own backyard, 7news.com.au reported.
As borders remain closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the Australian government is hoping that more travellers holidaying within the country borders would assist domestic tourism operators reeling from the bushfires and coronavirus pandemic.
Birmingham also indicated the government wants to better encourage and highlight Indigenous tourism once Australia does open its borders to foreign visitors, according to 7news.com.au.