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Book ahead to experience #jola as Sydney prepares to open its doors again

  • Monday 27th September 2021
  • Tourism

Guests And Turtle

This World Tourism Day (27th Sep), Sydney’s leading leisure and tourism operators have united in a show of solidarity to invite us all to revel in #jola, aka the joy of looking ahead, as so many of the businesses that give us happiness prepare to reopen their doors.

The Sydney Visitor Collective, made up of industry leaders such as Sydney Opera House, BridgeClimb Sydney, Taronga Zoo Sydney and SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium hope to use #jola to inspire those of us in NSW and beyond to get excited about what’s ahead, in order to revitalise both our souls and Sydney’s economy.

The #jola phenomenon, originally born out of the UK’s COVID-19 crisis and subsequent lockdowns, allows us to remain optimistic and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. And it seems those of us in lockdown across Australia, particularly NSW, have the #jola feeling in droves – research from Tourism Australia has indicated that more than half (56 per cent) of those surveyed in NSW are starting to dream or actively research their next trip, whereby the Sydney Visitor Collective is encouraging that trip to be into our Harbour city for a staycation or day out.

“To get your hit of #jola is quite simple,” says Ian Wood, Regional GM, Merlin Entertainments: “Our message from the Sydney Visitor Collective is to book ahead.”

Wood continues: “After another difficult year with limited entertainment, people are getting excited about a safe summer of fun. As we set our sights on more freedoms, I think we can all agree that there’s a lot to be said for having something to look forward to, and that’s what we’ve all missed throughout this tough period.

“We are already seeing signs of pent-up demand – our Merlin Annual Pass sales have been encouraging despite attractions being closed, and forward bookings into October and November are strong, suggesting that #jola is alive and well within the community. We are also encouraged by the fact that consumer confidence in Sydney is expected to outpace other cities due to NSW being way ahead of the national vaccination rate average.

“With flexible booking conditions, why wouldn’t you book in that next staycation, harbour cruise or trip to the aquarium to experience the joy of looking ahead?  Whether it be late October when we all reopen, November, December, or beyond, get it in the diary now!”

NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney said the community had much to look forward to in the months ahead as Sydney and NSW reopened. “There is nothing like a visit to Sydney to admire the spectacular natural beauty of the Harbour, soak up the atmosphere of our restaurant and bar scene, relax into the hotel life and up the ante by enjoying the unique experiences our tourism operators have to offer. If it’s your first time or your 50th, visitors always find something to love about life in the Harbour City, so why not start planning that next adventure right now?” Mr Ayres said.

Also throwing her support behind this campaign is Lord Mayor Clover Moore who says; “As vaccine rates rise and we cautiously look beyond the pandemic, I encourage everyone to experience the joy of looking ahead – get behind our local Sydney tourism businesses and start planning your next adventure!

“The physical distancing measures required to save lives and prevent another devastating outbreak of COVID-19 have had a huge impact on the livelihoods of many in our community. This is especially true for hospitality and tourism businesses, as venues were capped, people began working from home and travel ground to a halt.

“Sydney hosts an array of some the world's very best tourism attractions and experiences and now’s a great time to revisit or discover them for the first time. Support post-pandemic recovery by booking ahead, as we start to reopen this wonderful city.”

Nick Lester, GM of Captain Cook Cruises says: “Pre-booking your tickets is a win-win; you will get to experience #jola and it will certainly help support Sydney’s tourism industry which has been devastated by ongoing closures, capacity restrictions and reduced consumer confidence. Some tourism businesses have been trading on less than 10 per cent of normal trading revenue for over 18 months”.

David Hammon, BridgeClimb CEO says: “Now is the time to book your day or weekend out in Sydney’s CBD to help support the businesses that people know and love. Here at BridgeClimb we have lots of new climb experiences, fully flexible booking terms and special offers alongside the same world class climb leaders and views we are known for. I’d suggest making a weekend out of it and pairing it up a cruise around the harbour, going on a staycation and sipping cocktails in a hotel or trying out the new rides at Luna Park. All our venues are operating safely, and we can’t wait to welcome those looking for a day out in the CBD this summer, making use of those Dine and Discover vouchers where you can”.

The Sydney Visitor Collective, which also includes members such as Captain Cook Cruises, TFE Hotels, Accor Hotels, NRMA Marine Division (MyFastFerry and Fantasea), Luna Park Sydney, National Maritime Museum, Big Bus Sydney, City of Sydney and ATEC are looking forward to delivering world class entertainment and good times to locals this spring/summer period.

Sydneysiders and beyond can show their love and support of their incredible world class city by booking ahead on to experience a local attraction, restaurant, cruise or accommodation in October, November and into summer. They are also encouraged to share their favourite Sydney travel images on social media using the hashtag #jola and #ilovesydney.