Tourism lost nearly $12 billion in April and May according to reports today but instead of supporting the struggling sector, the Morrison Government has decided to turn the industry into a political football.
Instead of a plan to help tourism through the long-term impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Morrison Government is threatening no support for the sector in states and territories that keep their borders closed to protect the health of their citizens.
Since March, international border closures have brought an almost total halt to international arrivals and visitor spending, which was worth nearly $42 billion in the twelve months before Australia’s border closed.
But despite this, the Morrison Government has so far done very little to provide targeted support for the tourism sector – which makes it hard to work out what support the Morrison Government is threatening to withdraw.
Ultimately, state borders are a matter for state governments following the health advice of their chief medical officers and while circumstances vary state to state, in most places intrastate travel is possible. As such, I encourage those who are in a position to do so to consider taking holidays closer to home.
Australia is a vast nation: even our smallest state, Tasmania, is bigger than Sri Lanka, Croatia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Taiwan and many other nations.
We all have parts of our own corners of Australia that we haven’t fully explored.
Top quality tourist offerings and amazing destinations abound in every one of our nation’s states and territories.
By booking a trip to experience some of these many opportunities, we can all support the tourism sector and the businesses and jobs it sustains.
The Morrison Government should be providing leadership in saving tourism jobs and businesses – not using tourism as a political football to score cheap points against state and territory governments.