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Without JobKeeper Australian tourism businesses face ‘annihilation’

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

According to the Australian Tourism Export Council, Australian tourism businesses face "annihilation" without further support from JobKeeper.

The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) is calling on the Federal Government to provide further financial support to the tourism industry and specifically the export tourism businesses which are unable to operate at anywhere near their previous levels.

ATEC's industry ‘Pulse Check’ taken in January highlights that domestic travel has replaced less than 20% of the revenue received from international visitors, with most export tourism businesses reliant on the JobKeeper supplement to get them this far.

With borders closed and export tourism businesses unable to access their international markets, 60% are running at less than 50% of their staff and service capacity with most only surviving with the support of the JobKeeper supplement.

ATEC Managing Director, Peter Shelley notes “Australian tourism businesses have hung on with the support of JobKeeper but face annihilation once the program ends next month if the Government fails to provide further support.

“Australia’s tourism industry has spent the past 12 months battling enormous setbacks, from bushfires to floods and the COVID crisis which has closed international borders and left tourism businesses with no customers.

“Tourism businesses were optimistic that by now international borders would be open and they would be seeing visitors return, but all indications are that these businesses face yet another tough year.

“State and Territory governments need to provide certainty in the way they respond to COVID outbreaks and a clear path to reopening international travel that appropriately manages the health risk and effective roll out of vaccines in order to give our industry certainty into the future.”

The export tourism industry ‘Pulse Check’ looked at how Australia’s export tourism businesses have fared over the past 12 months revealing:

• Around 60% of tourism businesses are running at less than 50% of staff and service capacity
• While 75% of tourism businesses have been able to supplement some of their revenue with domestic visitors, this spend represents less than 20% of income lost from overseas visitors
• 55% of tourism businesses will not survive till September without some kind of government support (while international borders remain closed)
• 95% of inbound tour operators (ITOs) – key tourism export intermediaries - have revenue of less than 10% compared to 2019
• 50% of ITOs are unable to attract domestic business and for those who have this represents less than 10% of their international market.
• 80% of ITOs will be gone by September without some kind of government support, making it much harder for the inbound tourism industry to restart.

Shelley adds “through no fault of their own, successful tourism businesses from across the country have been decimated by a series of setbacks that culminated with the international border closures.

“These are the same businesses which were instrumental in delivering $45 billion export revenue in 2019 and delivering thousands of jobs to regional communities throughout the country and they will be the ones which will provide future jobs and economic prosperity.

“Given the success of our export tourism industry over the past decade which saw international visitors contributing more than $350 billion in our economy, we must ensure these businesses survive.

“Once the borders reopen, these businesses will quickly rebound and once again contribute significantly to our export earnings, support regional economies and build back Australian jobs.”

Image: Chinese tourists at Twelve Apostles

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22nd January 2021 - Regional Australia needs targeted support for tourism businesses

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20th January 2021 - WTTC predicts over 100 million global tourism jobs could be recovered during 2021

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

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

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

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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