Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Facing ongoing international borders closures tourism industry calls for continued Federal Government support

Facing ongoing international borders closures tourism industry calls for continued Federal Government support
January 19, 2021

With Australia’s external borders having been closed to international visitors for almost a year, tourism industry leaders are calling for the Federal Government to extend JobKeeper payments to businesses and workers beyond March.

With both Federal Department of Health Secretary, Professor Brendan Murphy and Australia's Chief Medical Officer Professor, Paul Kelly having this week suggested that international borders are likely to be closed for much of the year, with even those from well-vaccinated countries unlikely to be granted quarantine-free entry, representatives from across tourism are fearing for the industries future.

Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) Chief Executive, Margy Osmond today advised that while international borders remain closed there is "no hope of recovery”, noting “there is no way that domestic tourism can fill the gap that will be left by inbound international.

"Essentially your average Chinese visitor to Australia probably spends $8,500 while they're here. Your average Aussie who heads off for a holiday is probably spending about $1,500.”

While Australians have been encouraged to holiday at home, Osmond called for a uniform system of state border restrictions, arguing tourism operators had lost billions of dollars over the Christmas period following Sydney's Northern Beaches outbreak.

Osmond also urged the Federal Government to provide more "pay cheque" support when the JobKeeper wage subsidy ends in March.

She commented “(the Federal) Government is going to have to think very seriously how it supports this industry for the next couple of years, not just the next couple of months, if it wants to have a tourism industry when we actually reopen our international borders.”

Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) Chief Executive, Darren Rudd, told Guardian Australia he had spoken with the Federal Tourism Minister, Dan Tehan, on Monday, and that he supported the idea of further help for the industry.

However, Rudd believed there were some cabinet ministers who still needed to be convinced the sector deserved extra support above other industries.

While Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison did not rule out further support for the tourism sector today, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday rejected calls to again extend JobKeeper, arguing it was always designed to be temporary.

Highlighting millions of dollars in specific support measures for the industry, including a regional tourism fund and cash payments for travel agents, Treasurer Frydenberg advised “(there is an) $100 million plus program for travel agents, who have been hit hard, and the tourism sector more generally, as well as increased support for the aviation sector.”

Rudd said that 40,000 AFTA members had contacted their local MPs asking for extended support, stating “it is needed, but it will be under another name because the government has given its word it will end JobKeeper.”

Rudd said the industry, worth $46 billion a year before the Coronavirus pandemic, was already reeling from a “mass exodus of skills and knowledge” since the initial border closure in March last year.

He added “people are making this move out of necessity. They’ve loved their job, but more will have to go unless there is an extension of support.”

He also said with fewer employees, the sector would not be well placed to maximise the potential benefit tourism can bring to the economy when international travel fully resumes.

Images: The staff team at Gumbuya World (top) and TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond (below).

Related Articles

19th January 2021 - Chief Medical Officer suggests international travel ban will remain for much of 2021

19th January 2021 - Tourism Australia Managing Director predicts top global travel trends for 2021

14th January 2021 - TCWA says one in five Western Australian tourism businesses at risk if JobKeeper ends

13th January 2021 - South Australian tourism sector seeks extension of JobKeeper beyond March 2021

4th January 2021 - Policy body warns that thousands of tourism businesses face closure without $1 billion lifeline

29th December 2020 - Preparing for a tourism revival in 2021

24th December 2020 - UNWTO points to tourism ‘looking forward with determination’

23rd December 2020 - ABS figures show part-time tourism jobs exceeding full-time positions for first time

18th December 2020 - Cabinet reshuffle sees Dan Tehan named new Federal Tourism Minister

10th December 2020 - Insurance crisis set to force closures of Australian attractions and adventure tourism businesses

9th December 2020 - 50 Northern Territory tourism businesses access Government’s ‘Book Now Digital Support’ program

7th December 2020 - Queensland Government launches new campaign to attract tourism workers

4th December 2020 - Mary Valley Rattler attraction able to maintain operation with JobKeeper support

2nd December 2020 - 2020 Queensland Government Budget provides record funding for arts, sport and tourism

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

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

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

29th September 2020 - Queensland Government offers attractions, hospitality and tourism sectors land rent relief

19th August 2020 - Federal Tourism Minister urges states open their borders

18th August 2020 - Mass participation sporting events calls for $48 million stimulus funding from Federal Government

7th August 2020 - Federal Government adds $15 billion to JobKeeper scheme to aid Victorian businesses

22nd July 2020 - Live Entertainment Industry Forum applauds Australian Government’s JobKeeper extension

18th July 2020 - Thousands back ATIC petition for retention of JobKeeper allowance

12th July 2020 - Federal Government to provide $233 million backing for tourism in national parks

25th June 2020 - Screen Producers welcome $50 million Federal Government funding package

19th June 2020 - Tourism and Transport Forum calls for extension of JobKeeper for another six months

26th May 2020 - Call for JobKeeper underspend to be allocated to revive Australian tourism

12th May 2020 - Village Roadshow Chief Executive calls for JobKeeper extension as Queensland Government’s Coronavirus easing roadmap suggests reopening of theme parks, entertainment venues and stadiums in June

6th May 2020 - Tourism businesses in Commonwealth National Parks to receive financial relief

9th April 2020 - ATIC welcomes JobKeeper payment scheme

7th April 2020 - Fears tourism businesses may not be eligible for JobKeeper payments

6th April 2020 - South Australian nature-based tourism business receive fee and rent relief

31st March 2020 - ATIC supports $130 billion JobKeeper package

31st March 2020 - Australian Government launches $130 billion ‘JobKeeper’ wage subsidy

13th March 2020 - Tourism Industry body welcomes Federal Government’s Coronavirus stimulus

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


About Priava's Technology -  Priava is a cloud-based and centralised venue and event management system aimed at venues of all sizes. With its familiar and easy-to-use web interface, the…

read more

Attractions / Billing / Entertainment / Events / Technology



Clubware’s online gym software is not your run of the mill management system. It has been carefully designed to incorporate all the elements that a fitness club would need. How did we do that?…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Recreation


Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / 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



Our team believes floors should be beautiful, comfortable, and engineered for safety, even when wet. Life Floor tiles meet six unique performance based standards: slip-resistance, impact absorption,…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces


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


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues


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