Businesses welcome opening of borders

By Charlotte Wooldridge | posted on May 15, 2020

GREAT Southern businesses are celebrating this week with the opening of regional borders from Monday.

The news comes as welcome relief to local tour company Down Under Discoveries owner Chelle Fisher.

She said she was forced to diversify during the lockdowns due to being unable to run their service like normal.

“We’ve been lucky that we’ve been able provide transfers for our FIFO community, so that’s been getting us over the line, but I’ve been really missing our tours, our hikes and our adventures,” Ms Fisher said.

“It has affected the business financially.”

Having the regional borders reopen to non-essential travel means tourism within WA has the chance to flourish, which Ms Fisher is looking forward to.

“It’s fantastic, everyone is itching to get outside, so

I think this is great for our state,” she said.

“People in Perth are so keen to get to the Great Southern, we have some of the most amazing countryside down here and people want to see it.

“People haven’t appreciated what they’ve got until they’ve lost it, so I think the staycations and the ‘Do it in WA’ campaigns that Tourism WA were doing need to come back.”

While the devastation the pandemic has had on people across the state is not lost on Ms Fisher, she hopes that the community will come back stronger than ever.

“It’s really sad that lives have been lost and people are in hardship, I’ve been very mindful of that,” Ms Fisher said.

“It’s easy for me to say ‘stay positive’ when I can put food on the table and pay my bills.

“But we will bounce back, it’s given us the chance to reassess so I think we will actually thrive more as a business, but also as a region.”