CANBERRA - Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has urged Australians to start "planning, booking and taking" interstate holidays to support the economy.
Tourism Australia on Tuesday launched a major marketing campaign, urging Australians to "holiday here this year" with international borders closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Birmingham said that one in 13 Australian jobs relied on the tourism industry which has been devastated by the pandemic.
"We want holidaymakers to dive deeper, and travel further across Australia," he told Nine Entertainment newspapers.
"People have been getting out there for road trips, driving a few hours from their homes, and that's fantastic. But as borders open up, it's time to plan and book a proper holiday in Australia."
On Sunday Birmingham, who is set to become the minister for finance in November, said that it was unlikely that Australians would be allowed to travel to Europe or the United States until 2022 on account of their high virus infection rates.
"The prospects of opening up widespread travel with higher risk countries will remain very reliant on effective vaccination or other major breakthroughs in the management of COVID-19," he said.
Australians spend 65 billion Australian dollars ($46.8 billion) on overseas holidays in 2018/19 financial year.
In a speech to the National Press Club in June, Birmingham said Australians had a "patriotic duty" to take domestic holidays.
"For those Australians who can afford to do so, we want them to feel an almost patriotic duty to get out and support the jobs and small businesses of their fellow citizens by having whatever Aussie holiday they can," he said.