Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Australian Regional Tourism critical of governments’ piecemeal response to COVID

Australian Regional Tourism critical of governments’ piecemeal response to COVID
September 20, 2021

Australian Regional Tourism has criticised the piecemeal response to COVID restrictions - pleading with Federal and State Governments to provide effective leadership.

Regional areas across the country are at risk of not only huge economic losses, but Australian Regional Tourism warns recovery for many is no more than a pipe dream.

The industry previously worth $138 billion and attributing to one in 12 jobs nationally, and closer to one in six jobs in some regions, has been hardest hit by the COVID downturn. There is no doubt the country faces the largest health crisis in many generations, however the collective State and Territory Governments refusal to successfully collaborate on a coordinated response to restrictions, ongoing border closures and lack of a national strategy to rebuild industry, is crippling the nation.

According to Australian Regional Tourism Chair, Coralie Bell “It’s agreed short-time survival measures such as jobkeeper were effective and implemented quickly however, now 18-months on, we still have no clear national long-term strategy to lead us out of this mess.

‘Small business remains at the front line of this ongoing debacle. The opening and closing of state borders and the state-based approach to restrictions is a joke.

“Enough is enough. Cities are empty. Any business that is located more than three hours from a major city is empty. If you’re on a border town – heaven help you, you are the forgotten people.”  

Calling out current piecemeal approaches by states and territories, Australian Regional Tourism reiterated the tourism sector support for health considerations.

Bell added “this is not about health and safety. Everybody knows health should come first. This is about leadership of a country and an ability for states and territories to put aside egos and work across borders for the greater good of Australian citizens and business, it's an embarrassment.

“In WA, you may find yourself singing ‘Welcome to the Hotel California’, because life seems great and you can pretend COVID doesn't exist - but you can never leave! with the Premier continuing to enforce hard closures with no end in sight, pointing fingers at the naughty big sister, NSW.

“If you’re in NSW, you’re going to need vaccination proof to leave your home it seems, as international media start to question if Australia really is a free country. And in Qld – well, you can sit in a stadium and watch the footy! Hurrah”   

“If we can’t even get our own backyards straight, how are we ever to return to a place where international visitors feel confident to travel. We should be ashamed.”

Australian Regional Tourism highlight that governments have had ample time to address industry priorities and strengthen the regional business outlook, however “we are yet to see any real and meaningful action.  Industry is tired of the bickering and hearing the same thing over and over.

“Without a clear and coordinated National strategy we have no pathway to rebuild what once was a $138 billion dollar industry, and the backbone of Australia.”

For more information on Australian regional Tourism go to

Image: WA Emma Gorge Resort El Questro Wilderness Park. Credit: Tourism WA

Related Articles

2nd August 2021 - National body highlights more funding still needed to rebuild Australia’s regional tourism sector

21st May 2021 - Ballarat to stage 2021 Australian Regional Tourism Convention

24th August 2020 - Registrations open for the online 2020 Australian Regional Tourism Convention

11th February 2020 - 2020 Australian Regional Tourism Convention to be staged in Ballarat

18th October 2019 - Australian Regional Tourism Convention to address role in national tourism agenda

20th November 2018 - Australian Regional Tourism announces new Chair

29th August 2016 - Australian Regional Tourism Network calls for Government to ‘get serious’ about tourism

27th March 2021 - GlobalData highlights Intra-regional tourism crucial for post-COVID-19 ASEAN tourism revival

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.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play


Pricemark Pty Ltd

Pricemark supplies a wide range of custom branded membership & RFID access products for the Health & Leisure Industry. 

read more




Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks



Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



PathMinder Pty Ltd have partnered with AllUser Industries srl to bring Europe’s most advanced high security portals to the Australian and New Zealand markets. AllUser Industries started to…

read more

Access / Fitness / Recreation / Security



AUSTRALIAN MADE. FIT FOR PURPOSE. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


TPEC Pool Enclosures

TPEC Pool Enclosures provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing residential, local government…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues



iEDM integrate Design, Engineering and Delivery Management services to convert existing spaces into exciting new entertainment venues. Our team consists of highly qualified professionals with diverse…

read more

Consultants / Design


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business