Data just released by Cairns Airport confirms what everyone in the tourism sector has known for a while; the lock-downs in NSW and Victoria have created an effective locked-out situation for Cairns. Passenger numbers through Cairns Airport fell 60% in August and are now down 10.2% from the same time last year (which was itself already down 77% down from 2019!).
Just as things appeared to be recovering quite strongly through the first half of this year the emergence of the Delta variant and the subsequent lock-downs in the South (along with a brief 3-day lock-down in Cairns) have turned things around. Obviously the hope now has to be that vaccination rates get higher enough, quickly enough, that we can see a return to the recovery story before things get any worse for the sector.