Tourism workers and businesses are being let down by the Morrison Government just when the sector most needs support.
The festive season is often one of the busiest times of year for the tourism sector but the ongoing impact of COVID-19 is still hitting many hard, with some businesses already reporting cancellations as a result of the NSW outbreak.
Quarterly tourism labour figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today confirmed that a slight uptick is hiding ongoing pain.
The number of tourism jobs lost since December 2019 is now 113,100 and, concerningly, part-time jobs in tourism now outnumber full-time jobs in the sector for the first time on record.
The worst impacted are those employed in cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services, where 23,900 jobs were lost, closely followed by 23,500 job losses in the accommodation sector.
The Morrison Government had already made it difficult to impossible to access JobKeeper for many employed in these significantly casualised workforces
These latest figures show that even as jobs return, many of those lucky enough to still be working in the sector are likely to have their hours reduced.
The Morrison Government loves making announcements, but never delivers.
The latest example is the $128 million support package announced for travel agents which the industry’s peak body says “has failed” because of “multiple flaws” in its design that weren’t ironed out because “while AFTA had repeatedly requested the opportunity to review and comment on the detail … and the implementation approach, that was not provided”.
The tourism industry deserves more than empty words and zero follow through.
It deserves a clear, comprehensive package of support which recognises its importance as a job creator and contributor to the economy and the ongoing impact of measures implemented to stop the spread of COVID-19.