In 2018/19 over one million people were employed in tourism across Australia – working in a variety of roles across accommodation, hospitality, attractions and more.
Historically tourism has offered people a dynamic and rewarding career in cities and regional communities, playing a vital role in creating and sustaining employment opportunities in Australia.
But the last nine months have been devastating for our tourism industry, starting with last summer’s bushfires followed by the spread of COVID-19.
Today’s release of the quarterly tourism labour statistics by the Australian Bureau of Statistics demonstrate that the impact of the bushfires and the beginning of COVID-19 alone cost the sector 21,900 jobs – 74 per cent of which were full time positions.
This is the largest fall recorded by the ABS since they began tracking tourism jobs in 2004.
The accommodation sector was hardest hit losing 11,600 positions.
With these statistics only tracking to March, we know the worst is yet to come.
The tourism sector is critical to our economy and employment opportunities particularly in regional areas.
While JobKeeper has been critical to keeping the industry afloat, it is clear the sector is being challenged like never before.
With more job losses expected next quarter and the unfolding situation in Victoria, the Government needs to take a serious look at the industry and what support it needs to recover.