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Australian tourism sector losing $3 billion a month as travel restrictions bite

Australian tourism sector losing $3 billion a month as travel restrictions bite
March 20, 2020

Australia’s tourism industry is looking at losses of $3 billion per month nationally as the world locks down in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The latest data shows the biggest December drop in international visitors to NSW since statistics began in 1991.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows there were 15,000 fewer people visiting NSW in December 2019 than in the corresponding month in 2018 and in January 2020 travellers declined by 2300.

Commenting on the findings, Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) Chief Executive Margy Osmond told The Age “tourism has already been wearing the bushfire impacts and when the gates open again we are still going to have to contend with the image issues of bushfires having burnt everything to the ground.”

The TTF estimates a 40% fall in tourists in the first six months of the year, which has catastrophic implications for jobs in the tourism sector.

Warning that between 100,000 and 133,200 mostly part-time, casual and seasonal jobs could be lost due to the coronavirus pandemic, Osmond advised “we’re now saying off the back of the banning of large events and cruise ship restrictions, we are probably looking at $3 billion in losses per month.

“Regional small businesses have been trying hard to get Australians to holiday here and working on festivals to get them to visit but the provisions now in place to ban large gatherings mean food festivals and other events have to be postponed or cancelled.”

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