New Tourism figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics again highlight how devastating the past twelve months have been for the sector.
Operators who were still recovering from bushfires were among the first and most severely impacted businesses when the COVID-19 pandemic hit – ongoing international travel restrictions mean they are likely to among the last to recover.
Today’s new statistics confirm that tourism has been disproportionately impacted by last summer’s devastating bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with the broader economy.
For the first time in 16 years, all recorded measures show tourism far worse off than the economy overall.
Source (figures): ABS – Tourism Satellite Account
But the Morrison Government has failed to provide a plan to protect jobs or any targeted support for this vital industry and things will only get worse as JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments are wound back.
The hit tourism has taken has slashed its contribution to the Australian economy to just 2.5 per cent of Gross Value Added in 2019/20, the smallest proportion the sector has contributed in the past 16 years.
Tourism has already suffered significant job losses, shedding some 136,500 jobs.
That’s 136,500 Australians out of work in the tourism sector since December last year – around one in seven jobs lost in 2020.
It is way past time for Simon Birmingham and Scott Morrison to tell the over one million Australians employed in the tourism sector what their plan is to support the industry and save their jobs.
The Government must deliver a clear plan to support the entire sector through this crisis, preventing hundreds of thousands more jobs being lost and ensuring that operators survive to drive our national economic recovery into the future.