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Posted on 21/02/2022 by Phillip Island Nature Parks


It’s been almost two years since international travelers last visited the Penguin Parade and other Nature Parks’ attractions, but that’s about to change, with international borders re-opening to tourists today.


In 2019, 60-70% of the Penguin Parade’s bookings were from international visitors. This represented approximately half a million visitors to the Penguin Parade each year, with tourists from China, India, Singapore, the UK and USA making up the majority. 


During the pandemic, like many other businesses, the Penguin Parade was closed to visitors during restrictions or operating at a reduced capacity.


But that didn’t stop the almost 40,000 little penguins waddling in each night. Live Penguin TV was launched in 2020 and was watched worldwide by more than 25 million people – many of whom are now set to visit the Penguin Parade and see the little penguins in real life.  


Nature Parks’ CEO Catherine Basterfield said Penguin TV was a silver lining during a challenging time and the team was looking forward to overseas visitors returning.


“We’re so excited to see the first international visitors arrive. We’ve had such incredible support from our local visitors throughout the pandemic, but all of our sites and experiences have been much quieter than they are accustomed to,” Ms Basterfield said. 


“It’s going to take a little while for international visitor numbers to return, but I expect the numbers will grow throughout the year as airline capacity and travel confidence grows.”


“International visitors might travel a little differently to the way they did in 2019, but we are ready to welcome them, in whatever way they come!”


Local and domestic visitors experienced the Parade like never before, as lower capacity created a unique viewing experience for Victorian and Phillip Island locals alike.


“There has never been a better time for Victorians and interstate travellers to visit Phillip Island and the Penguin Parade. With the current lower visitor numbers, we can really prioritise the visitor experience, which our team are really enjoying,” Ms Basterfield said. 


“We’re proud to be one of Victoria’s biggest regional tourism destinations for international visitors. It’s wonderful for our region, and for other experiences and accommodation providers, who also see the benefits.”


“Victorians have really been exploring their own State over the past couple of years. We’ve had people visit us who hadn’t come Phillip Island since they were kids! I’d like to thank our locals for supporting us when times were tough by exploring your own backyards.  Hopefully after boarders reopen, this tradition continues, as Victorians are now more aware of the treasures on their doorsteps.”