Marketing campaigns alone will not get Australia’s tourism industry through the massive impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor and the industry have been calling for increased domestic marketing since tourism operators were first hit by summer bushfires late last year.
The campaign announced this week will help encourage Australians to book domestic holidays.
But with more than 136,000 tourism jobs already lost and many businesses battling to hang on after a total drought of international visitors for more than five months, more can and should be done to support this vital sector and the million Australians it employs.
New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released this week confirm a decrease of 99.6 per cent in overseas arrivals in August, compared with the same month last year.
With international borders remaining closed for the foreseeable future, the numbers are no surprise.
But they do serve as a reminder that overseas visitors spent $45.4 billion in Australia in the 12 months to December 2019 – a massive revenue stream that has completely dried up.
The Morrison Government should fast-track flagged tourism infrastructure investments, ensuring funding flows this financial year and projects completed as soon as possible.
It must also deliver a clear plan to support the entire sector through this crisis, prevent hundreds of thousands more jobs being lost and ensure operators survive to drive our national economic recovery into the future.