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TCWA says one in five Western Australian tourism businesses at risk if JobKeeper ends

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

One in five Western Australian tourism businesses face closure or major job losses due to border uncertainty if JobKeeper expires at the end of March according to Tourism Council WA.

The industry body's latest survey reveals the state's tourism industry has suffered mass cancellations from interstate guests since Christmas due to border uncertainty, and forward bookings are down 35%.

Commenting on the findings, Tourism Council WA (TCWA) Chief Executive, Evan Hall stated "attractions, aviation, bus companies, tours and Perth hotels have been hit hard by border uncertainty.

"Without bookings or JobKeeper support many of these businesses which cater to out-of-state visitors face job losses and closure,”

The survey shows there is a two-speed tourism industry in WA where locals are leaving Perth to holiday in the regions, but few visitors are spending time or dollars coming to Perth.

As an example, it shows that overall regional accommodation businesses are up 45%, but Perth accommodation and tourism businesses are down 50%.

Hall noted "the businesses which are bearing the cost of the travel restrictions needed to protect public health should be supported, not abandoned.

“These are good, long-term tourism businesses which are in financial distress through no fault of their own. We need these businesses to survive so we can recover our international and interstate visitors when travel resumes.”

Tourism Council WA is calling on the Federal and Western Australian Governments to support these businesses until international and interstate travel can resume.

Hall added "it is critical that the Federal Government extends JobKeeper for at-risk businesses until international travel can safely resume.

“The State Government did a great job supporting tourism businesses when the crisis first hit. But after almost a year without tourists to WA the tourism industry needs help targeted to those businesses carrying the cost of border uncertainty.

“This could include further relief on land tax, government rent, water charges and licence fees, alongside a second round of survival grants.”

JobKeeper is due to end on 28th March, after previously being extended for six months from its original end date of last September.

Image: The Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre and the city's Elizabeth Quay. Credit: Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

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