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Australasian Leisure Management and the Coronavirus crisis

Australasian Leisure Management and the Coronavirus crisis
March 19, 2020

All in the industry would agree that we are in remarkable, unprecedented and worrying times, as the Coronavirus pandemic places lives in danger around the world as well as having a wider impact on economies and society.

In aiming to be the most reliable and consistent source of news and information for all sectors of the leisure industry in Australia, New Zealand and now Asia, we continue to seek to report the issues that are affecting the industry as accurately as possible, avoiding sensationalism, present this industry in the most positive way.

Mindful that there are so many streams of information - not all of it reliable - we are aiming for Australasian Leisure Management to be a consistent and reliable source of news for professionals across the industry.  

While we won’t shy away from awkward truths, we want to present an industry viewpoint, mindful that businesses, careers and livelihoods are being impacted by this current crisis and that there are levels of uncertainty about how the industry and society will look when it is over.

Keeping Facilities Open
We back the continued operation of aquatic facilities, fitness clubs, gyms and other facilities and events.

Given Coronavirus is an airborne disease which cannot spread through water, we feel the public should still be given access to aquatic centres, mindful of advice that Coronavirus (COVID-19) is very unlikely to be transmitted through swimming pool water where adequate chlorine levels are maintained.

Equally, following the Federal Government announcement that non-essential indoor gatherings of more than 100 people have been banned as a response to the Coronavirus crisis, we agree with Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish’s advice that “gyms do not need to close”.

While we respect that directives on social distancing will impact a large number of entertainment and sporting events, we urge governments to extend support to these and, indeed, all industry sectors impacted through this crisis.

Representation, Support and Stimulus
Here we are all too aware of significant numbers of casual staff being laid off by operators at this time and the precarious state of many of our readers’ employment and businesses.

We fully support the efforts of industry associations and peak bodies such as the Australian Tourism Industry Council, Exercise Association of New Zealand, Fitness Australia, Live Performance Australia and the Venue Management Association as well as, as of yesterday Royal Life Saving Society - Australia for the aquatics sector, in representing their members and sector stakeholders, while pointing others to look to represent their sectors in the same way. 

We also firmly believe now is not the time for associations, bodies, facilities and operators to ‘fly under the radar’, more it is the time to highlight the role this industry plays in improving the quality of life of populations through activity, amusement, attainment and entertainment as well as its economic, employment, social and wellbeing impacts.

For in the absence of reliable information, misinformation can flourish.

Share Your Experiences and Good News
It gives us no pleasure to report on this crisis, but it is unavoidable.

However, we don’t just want to report 'bad news' but we also want to facilitate knowledge sharing on this critical issue.

So, if readers want to share their experiences, responses or resources that may assist others manage their businesses, facilities and team members, please email:

Please also email us with your other news on more positive things such as initiatives, staff, future plans, developments, innovations and the like.

Our Own Actions
Internally we have introduced the following measures to mitigate the risk of infection while limiting any disruptions.

• We have radically reduced face-to-face meetings with team members remaining contactable by telephone, Skype, email, and most teleconferencing apps.
• We have cancelled all business-related travel and attendance at work-related and industry events or conferences
• To prevent infection we have introduced strict hygiene measures and social distancing at our offices

The latest information on Coronavirus can be viewed at

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

19th March 2020 - Government issues Coronavirus guidelines for community sport, stating fitness centres and swimming pools need not close

18th March 2020 - Royal Life Saving releases position statement on the impact of Coronavirus on aquatic facilites

18th March 2020 - World Urban Parks Chief Executive emphasises the value of public green space in a time of crisis

18th March 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish says ‘gyms do not need to close’

18th March 2020 - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison halts international travel and bans indoor gatherings of over 100

18th March 2020 - Preparations recommence for Hangzhou’s 2022 Asian Games hosting

18th March 2020 - Adelaide Festival Centre and Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre announce venue closures

18th March 2020 - City of Greater Geelong closes facilities in Coronavirus response

18th March 2020 - Brisbane Lions warn of $5 million loss if forced to play home matches with no crowds

18th March 2020 - New Zealanders should keep up physical activity during the Coronavirus pandemic

17th March 2020 - LPA calls for $850 million live performance support and stimulus package

17th March 2020 - HOTA and MONA close to prevent spread of Coronavirus

17th March 2020 - FFA suspends grassroots football

17th March 2020 - Fitness First highlights gym hygiene measures

17th March 2020 - Coronavirus impact puts up to 50 million jobs at risk across global tourism

26th October 2018 - Communication and marketing Awards recognise industry excellence

17th May 2018 - Industry Communication and Marketing Awards return for 2018

15th December 2016 - Inaugural Leisure Industry Communication and Marketing Awards

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


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