The Morrison Government must immediately provide certainty on tourism industry support beyond September, as new figures again highlight the sector’s urgent need for assistance.
The Tourism Research Australia national and international visitors’ surveys for March again demonstrate the scale of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the tourism sector, which has come to an almost complete halt in response to both international and domestic travel bans.
Reports today detail a $6 billion hit to the tourism industry. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come with travel restrictions fully in force from the end of March and not yet recognised in this data from Tourism Research Australia.
With no end in sight to international border closures, a growing number of cases of community transmission and some tourism businesses already at breaking point, the Government must not delay a commitment to support the sector after their JobKeeper snapback in September.
More than one million people are employed in the tourism sector across some 300,000 businesses, the majority of which are sole operators or small businesses.
The challenges these businesses face are not over and are not something they can simply “snap back” from.
Every day the Morrison Government fails to provide certainty to Australian tourism operators is another day businesses and workers will be left behind, and more Australians will be forced to join the jobless queues.
Forward planning is essential for a sector that relies on advance bookings, and with advance bookings limited in these uncertain times operators desperately need to know what support, if any, the Government will offer beyond September.
Tourism is vital to our economy but is facing its toughest challenge to date.
It’s past time for the Government to provide certainty to Australia’s hundreds of thousands of tourism businesses owners and the one million people they employ across the country.