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VTIC highlights need for coordinated response to COVID-19 recovery

VTIC highlights need for coordinated response to COVID-19 recovery
May 13, 2020

The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is joining forces with some prominent figures in Victoria’s business event sector to ensure the tourism industry is well informed and equipped to recover from the COVID-19 crisis and to restart in the most effective way.

VTIC is calling on the State Government to engage with this vital sector to enable it to plan and prepare for a reanimation strategy that makes sense.

VTIC Chief Executive, Felicia Mariani notes “at present the events industry is uncertain about its fate, with many businesses left with 100% cancellation rates and no clear indication of its future.  

“We understand that safety is paramount, which is why we want to work in lockstep with Government so we can be guided through the best way to start the recovery process, now.

“Engaging with industry on safety measures and procedures that are able to be implemented will ensure we reopen in a responsible and appropriate manner to protect both our staff and our guests.”

With strict bans on public and private gatherings in place, the economic pressures thrust on the industry continue to mount. As a result, many businesses have been forced to close, or are on the verge of closing their doors indefinitely.

Past Chair of the Victorian Events Industry Council, Managing Director of Melbourne company Peter Jones Special Events, Peter Jones said he feared for the industry and its future, with thousands of contractors and suppliers suffering with no relief in sight.

“We must remember that running an event is not a ‘one man show.’

“The flow on effects from cancelling just one event – of which there have already been countless – has serious consequences to hundreds of individuals involved across a broad range of sectors.

Jones adds “holding a dinner for 500 guests has another 500 people working behind the scenes. From the venues, banquet and kitchen staff, to the security, cleaners, AV companies and more, it takes an army to get the job done.

“This is just the beginning of all those suppliers and contractors who will be waiting a lot longer than the opening of golf courses and schools to restart their businesses. And forget large outdoor public gatherings like festivals and parades; That’s 2021 at the earliest.

“Unfortunately, many supplier businesses will not make it through to the other side of COVID-19 and our sector will be forever changed."

Deputy Chair of VTIC, Chief Executive of Saxton Speakers Bureau, Anne Jamieson also advises “never has it been more important to have a response and recovery framework in place for the events industry.

“It is vital that over the next 12 months we have Government support to ensure that our industry can re-bound and then grow. We need to come to together and support business with no cashflow or forward pipeline so that they can survive beyond COVID 19.”

According to the Business Events Council of Australia, the industry is bracing itself to lose $35.7 billion nationally over the next 12 months, with 96% of business events scheduled for 2020 now cancelled, resulting in an estimated 92,000 job losses across the country.

Mariani concludes “we need to be united in our collaboration with all levels of government to establish a coordinated approach that ensures the people ‘behind the scenes’ aren’t forgotten and left jobless. We must act now to ensure there’s a bright future for events and we welcome the State Government’s advice on how best to approach the reanimation of this vital sector.”

Related Articles

13th May 2020 - Survival package unveiled for Victorian sport, tourism and creative industries

11th May 2020 - Live Nation says no return to ‘full scale’ concerts until 2021 as it looks to drive-in events

6th May 2020 - Victorian Government announces support for casual workers stood down from shuttered public sector venues

4th May 2020 - Victorian wildlife attractions receive financial lifeline

27th April 2020 - VTIC welcomes new emergency funding for tourism industry        

30th March 2020 - VTIC calls for immediate hibernation and wage subsidy packages

22nd March 2020 - NSW and Victoria to close ‘non-essential services’ while South and Western Australia seal borders in response to Coronavirus pandemic

20th February 2020 - New marketing campaign aims to boost Victorian tourism

4th January 2020 - Bushfire crisis sees Victorian alpine resorts among areas declared state of disaster

4th January 2020 - VTIC provides advice for businesses impacted by the bushfires

7th December 2019 - Six Victorian tourism operators enter RACV Hall of Fame

5th July 2019 - VTIC Conference heads to Geelong to share industry disruption and excellence

21st March 2019 - Review to determine ways to expand tourism In Regional Victoria

23rd October 2017 - VTIC welcomes strong events forecast but stresses that attractions must plan for winter visitors

20th July 2017 - Growing Victorian tourism sector impacted by ongoing skills shortages

7th June 2017 - VTIC highlights challenges for tourism in regional Victoria

22nd July 2016 - $10 million extra funding for arts and culture in regional Victoria

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