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ATIC says tourism package will fail to stem major tourism job and business losses

ATIC says tourism package will fail to stem major tourism job and business losses
March 11, 2021

The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) has expressed its fear that the Federal Government’s tourism support package will fail to stem major job losses and closures now occurring among many small, family run and larger tourism businesses across the country.

Expressing deep disappointment that direct, targeted, and short-term assistance for tourism enterprises had no part in the multi-pronged package set to be announced by the Federal Government, ATIC Executive Director, Simon Westaway has his morning stated “we are on the cusp of a national vaccine rollout bringing future confidence to domestic travel. Yet the package doesn’t address at risk tourism jobs in our cities and regions.

“Fundamental to our industry’s sustainability is the state of tourism businesses and reliant jobs in our capital cities, where interstate and international visitors and major events have evaporated.

“This package isn’t going to provide the benefit, nor directly tackle the dire predicament facing tourism enterprises and our visitor economy which is closely aligned to capital city gateways. 

“So many tourism businesses have experienced so few visitors this past year. We fear these measures will also not deliver stimulus in time to sustain many enterprises and their workforces.

“From small accommodation providers to tour operators, adventure tourism and cruises, businesses hit by border restrictions and low travel confidence get little from this package.

“ATIC supports sustainable Australian aviation. But stimulus cannot be at the expense of small tourism operators, when this air network support is not easily transferable nor truly nationwide.

“A Federal Recovery Loan Scheme won’t save many tourism jobs or businesses on the line. But the policy is a sound one to better enable and support future affordable tourism SME refinancing.

“ATIC understands the Government’s desire to continue to commit to a sustainable tourism sector beyond this latest package and help retain it as a future economic pillar for Australia.

“This is also the clear desire of the Australian tourism industry, which has dramatically shrunk by over half its pre-pandemic size, and still lags in recovery due to ongoing border constraints.

“We urge future engagement between industry and government be a more direct exchange around policy prescriptions that keep jobs and tourism enterprises at the forefront of recovery.”   

Image: ATIC Executive Director Simon Westaway. Credit: ATIC.

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