Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Fears tourism businesses may not be eligible for JobKeeper payments

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

Having been inundated by concerns from small and regional tourism businesses, Tourism Council WA has shared fears that tourism businesses may may not be eligible for JobKeeper payments.

Advising that while the JobKeeper payment has been widely well-received by the industry to keep businesses afloat and staff employed during the downturn, Tourism Council WA Chief Executive, Evan Hall said many tourism businesses were seasonal and may not be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payments.

Hall stated "seasonal tourism businesses do not work every month of the year, and in many cases seem to be disqualified from claiming JobKeeper payments for their employees."

Noting that the impact of Coronavirus had been most keenly felt by seasonal businesses in the North West and Coral Coast of Western Australia, including whale shark tour operators and businesses in Broome, Kununurra and the Kimberley, Hall advised "tourism businesses, particularly in the North West, have been decimated as bookings for their peak season are cancelled. At the same time, they are being asked to process refunds with cash they don’t have.

“They are not eligible for JobKeeper payments because their employees were due to start for the peak season in April, or are casuals who have not been engaged for a whole 12 months as their season only runs for six to eight months.

“These seasonal businesses have just come out of off-peak season where there is no income, and have invested everything into their upcoming peak season – it is highly likely many of these businesses will not survive.”

Hall called on all Western Australian Members of Parliament to ensure the JobKeeper legislation allowed for seasonal tourism businesses and 'small mum-and-dad operators' to get full income support for everyone who used to work in the business.

He went on to say “the advice has been that the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) may be flexible and provide exemptions for some businesses, but we need certainty on whether or not they will be eligible.

“These businesses need to decide today if they are going to employ staff tomorrow assisted by a wage subsidy they may or may not receive in May. They cannot afford to wait until May to find out if they are eligible.”

Adding that there were other businesses which had fallen through the cracks and may not be eligible for JobKeeper payments, Hall concluded "many small tourism businesses operate as partnerships or trusts - it appears only one person in the trust or partnership can receive the JobKeeper payment, leaving mum-and-dad operators with only one JobKeeper income for two or more people."

A recent industry survey revealed 57% of businesses had ceased operations and gone into ‘hibernation’, with 42% still trading but with drastically reduced operations.

Image: The Ningaloo Glass Bottom Boat tour is among tourism operators impacted by Coronavirus restrictions. Image courtesy of Tourism WA>

Related Articles

6th April 2020 - Online conference to address tourism challenges through Coronavirus pandemic

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

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

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

29th January 2020 - Tourism Council WA happy with Western Australia’s best summer but fears challenges ahead

30th December 2019 - Tourism Council WA warn visitors to avoid rogue operators to enjoy a safe holiday season

12th December 2019 - Australian Tourism Industry Council welcomes ABS record tourism numbers

9th January 2019 - Tourism Council WA calls for growth fund to stop industry job losses

11th December 2019 - Andrew Forrest plans to convert pristine Ningaloo Reef site into multi-million dollar resort

30th January 2019 - Research shows industrialisation will threaten the survival of Ningaloo humpback whales

23rd December 2019 - New Tourism WA campaign set to entice German and Swiss travellers for outdoor adventure

28th October 2019 - Western Australian Government launches Shark Smart WA app

22nd October 2019 - Pilbara tourism operator claims second Western Australian excellence award

4th October 2019 - ATEC launches program for WA tourism operators hosting Japanese visitors

25th July 2019 - George Calombaris dropped from Tourism WA marketing role

17th July 2019 - Events and Optus Stadium driving Western Australian tourism rebound

24th December 2018 - Tourism WA hosts Indian inbound tour operator in aim to attract more international visitors

2nd November 2018 - Tourism Council WA calls for change in Western Australian tourism activity

6th September 2018 - Former world surfing chief executive named Tourism WA Managing Director

21st March 2018 - New plan to drive growth in Western Australian tourism

17th April 2017 - No opening date in sight for Ningaloo Centre and Aquarium

8th September 2016 - Researchers call for tighter controls on Ningaloo Reef manta ray experiences

18th August 2016 - Swimming with humpbacks begins at Ningaloo Reef

11th January 2014 - West Australian heatwave closes national parks

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

Augmented Creative

Augmented Creative is an open organization of like-minded and highly dedicated, creative people who conceive, plan and execute visual solutions. We pursue new and innovative visual ideas to help…

read more

Arts / Attractions / Consultants / Design / Tourism



Centaman has been a market leader in Enterprise Software Solutions for the leisure and recreation industry and both profit and not-for-profit attractions since 1991. It offers a wide range of software…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Ticketing


Enta Australasia

As of the 1st July 2018, Enta Australasia Pty Ltd/Best Union has been rebranded as VIVATICKET Pty Ltd.  Click here to view the VIVATICKET Pty Ltd listing.  19th July 2018 - ENTA…

read more

Technology / Ticketing / Venues



Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness



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


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


TJS Services

TJS Services is a leading national facility services provider. We deliver quality cleaning, maintenance, construction and facility management services to over 1,500 sites Australia wide.  Our…

read more

Hospitality / Retail / Venues



AUSTRALIAN MADE. FIT FOR PURPOSE. Based on the Gold Coast, AlphaFit is a leading manufacturer and supplier of Australian gym equipment specifically for the commercial, strength and conditioning,…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


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