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Australia’s $45 billion export tourism Industry at risk without JobKeeper replacement

Australia’s $45 billion export tourism Industry at risk without JobKeeper replacement
February 18, 2021

According to the Australian Tourism Export Council, while some tourism businesses across Australia have seen an increase in revenues from domestic visitors, many regional and remote tourism businesses and supply chain distributors with a dependency on international markets remain on a knife edge.

Australia has traditionally had around 200 Inbound tour operators (ITOs) of varying sizes which support tourism businesses to connect with around 50 international markets.

Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) Managing Director Peter Shelley notes that without them we are likely to see the decimation of the Australian inbound travel distribution ecosystem.

Shelley highlights “ITOs have been the backbone of the export tourism industry, providing the conduit for millions of visitors coming to Australia each year.

“With the end of JobKeeper, international borders closed and no further support, 81% of ITO businesses will close and that will destroy Australia’s ability to quickly get back in the game once borders reopen.

“Thousands of Australian businesses rely on the economic activity delivered by international visitors and around half of those visitors have been delivered though international retail travel agents serviced by Australian based ITOs - we simply can't afford to lose their expertise, connections and experience.”

Shelley adds “Australian based ITO businesses are the ‘on-the-ground’ network that understand the destination, they have established relationships with thousands of local tourism products and experiences from which they create tailored travel itineraries for international visitors.

“These are specialist businesses which have established unique commercial connections with travel wholesalers in our largest inbound markets around the world over half a century.

“The recovery of inbound tourism will be driven by international travellers booking with retail travel agents who will provide security around booking flexibility and deposits, manage changes to travel arrangements if required and above all, provide guidance on COVIDSafe travel.

“Without a strong Australian ITO network, travel retailers will simply direct their travellers to other destinations which are easier to book and service, leaving Australia and thousands of tourism businesses high and dry.

“While we are heartened to see Australians travelling domestically, domestic tourism spend will never replace the billions of dollars in export revenue delivered by international visitors, so it would be short sighted to rely on this current domestic enthusiasm to underpin the long term viability of our industry.

“Securing the future of a few hundred businesses and those that are the ‘connectors’ with international travellers, will be critical to our recovery and therefore an important short term investment in the future of our inbound tourism sector which will deliver enormous returns over future years.”

Image: South Australia Barossa Valley Ballooning

Related Articles

1st February 2021 - Without JobKeeper Australian tourism businesses face ‘annihilation’

21st December 2020 - ATEC welcomes Dan Tehan as Australia’s new Federal Tourism Minister

24th November 2020 - ATEC to provide COVID Ready training for New Zealand based tourism businesses

18th November 2020 - ATEC to deliver its annual Meeting Place program as a hybrid event in 2020

10th November 2020 - ATEC highlights that tourism exporters need JobKeeper support until international borders reopen

19th October 2020 - ATEC expands its program supporting Australian tourism exporters to attract domestic visitors

7th October 2020 - ATEC welcomes Federal Budget support for tourism industry

27th September 2020 - ATEC concerned over lack of government funding to support inbound tour operators

21st September 2020 - ATEC aligns with WTTC Safe Travel protocols  

23rd June 2020 - ATEC warns domestic travel not a simple fix for Australia’s tourism industry

13th May 2020 - ATEC highlights the harsh reality of a tourism industry in crisis

30th April 2020 - ATEC part of new Tourism Restart Taskforce to strengthen industry COVID-19 response

22nd April 2020 - ATEC considers diverse and competitive airlines to be critical to Australian tourism

6th March 2020 - ATEC highlights the ongoing threat of Coronavirus to export tourism industry

2nd March 2020 - ATEC remembers tourism innovator James Kwan

17th January 2020 - ATEC emphasises the need for positive messages to international tourists

28th November 2019 - ATEC recognises outstanding industry achievements for 2019


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