REAL Australia, a tour company owned by Luke Sexton reopened in July after a nearly 2.5-year gap amid the Cocid-19 pandemic. The tour company hosts tours for international students to provide them with a real experience of life in Australia.
Mr Luke bought the company in 2015 after working as the operations manager for a year, while hosting tours with a team of people in the Great Ocean Road, Healesville, Phillip Island and Mornington Peninsula.
International students were not able to travel to Victoria or experience university life on campus due to the border closure in Australia in 2020. Around 37,000 students returned to Victoria since Australian borders reopened in December.
Mr Luke said that his company was affected badly by the covid-19 restrictions including lockdowns and border closures.
He added, “Around mid-March 2020, we had to cancel all of the tours we had planned. We lost all business and the majority of any partnerships and relationships we had in place, as universities were also heavily hit and lost a lot of their staff that we worked with.”
The tour company returned to not only provide international students with the opportunity to pull up the adventures, but also allow them to quickly mingle themselves with the Australian community.
The Victorian tourism industry in Australia remains to recover from the loss after the state’s lockdowns, reporting a net loss of $19.5 billion at the end of 2020.
International Education Recovery Plan 2025, launched by the state government earlier this month, aims to support more international students in their return to Melbourne and regional Victoria.
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