Open up and let good times roll The threat of a sec­ond wave of COVID-19 is real, but that could hap­pen whether we in­vite grey no­mads and vig­i­lant tourists across our bor­ders or not

Sunday Territorian - - NEWS -

WHAT are you afraid of Mr Gun­ner?

That a con­voy of grey no­mads will tear up the red dirt like a bus load of Con­tiki tour rev­ellers on their boozy va­cay, mov­ing from one ex­cit­ing city to the next each day?

That the re­tirees will be shoul­der to shoul­der play­ing beer pong in camp kitchens all over the Ter­ri­tory?

That there’ll be car­a­van con­voys mov­ing from park to park every day?

The re­al­ity of open­ing bor­ders soon (let’s say Au­gust for ar­gu­ment’s sake) is stranded happy campers will be able to get on their way and the ea­ger, reg­u­lar mid-year trav­ellers will hit the road to find their slice of par­adise where they’ll park up for weeks on end.

Mary and Bert will en­joy a chardy and a tin­nie with some Jatz and cheese at 5pm re­li­giously every night – some nights they’ll in­vite Pete and

Joyce around for a tip­ple. But they’ll be be­hind their van doors by 8pm to pre­pare for an­other day of glo­ri­ous sun­shine in the safest place in Aus­tralia.

Then there’ll be the race­go­ers and car lovers who will jump on a plane, what­ever brand is fly­ing, and pay what­ever price it takes to make it to the NT for our big­gest events of the year.

They’ll stay in ho­tels, drink in pubs, buy sou­venirs for the fam­ily mem­bers shiver­ing down south and eat out for at least two meals a day.

Our streets won’t be crowded, they’ll be vi­brant.

Our cof­fee shops won’t be bulging with peo­ple, they’ll be pleas­antly bustling with strangers hav­ing con­ver­sa­tions about how they got through that darn 2020 pan­demic.

Vis­i­tors to the NT will know how dan­ger­ous the coro­n­avirus is and the im­por­tance of so

Pic­ture: ISTOCK

Grey no­mads are un­likely to pose a se­ri­ous threat to the North­ern Ter­ri­tory if the bor­ders are re­opened but they will be among those who will most ben­e­fit when the re­gion is opened up again for vis­i­tors

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