The Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC) has welcomed suggestions the tourism industry may benefit from unallocated funds from the Jobkeeper program which would be redirected to the stricken industry.
“Export tourism has been the hardest hit export industry this year. From the bushfires which saw our peak tourist season disappear to the fact we will not see any international visitors before next Summer, 2020 will be remembered as the year from hell for export tourism,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said today.
“Tourism is a huge part of Australia’s economy and export tourism has been one of our strongest growth industries over the past decade, delivering more than $45bn in visitor spending last year – it’s an industry we can’t afford to lose.
“For the thousands of export tourism businesses who are ATEC members, and the entire tourism industry, the suggestion of additional support provides those businesses greater confidence to keep going and ride out their toughest year.”
Mr Shelley said while domestic tourism would see some recovery in coming months, the inbound industry would continue to have little income well into next year, and even then at a greatly diminished level.
“This morning ATEC met with over 40 of the country’s major inbound tour operators (ITOs), the businesses which provide travel services to a huge proportion of our 9 million international visitors each year.
“These businesses feed international visitors into our regions and help support the one million people employed in the tourism industry across Australia, but this year their contribution to our economy will be negligible.
“These businesses are a major part of our industry’s supply chain and, come September, will have no income and no way to continue to employ the small number of people they have kept on the books.
“These businesses provide a vital role in the tourism supply chain and without these them, we will face huge obstacles in getting back into the international visitor marketplace and regaining the ground we have lost, so any measures that support their continued existence will be a huge benefit to tourism businesses across the country.
“Since January ATEC has been talking to the Government to ensure they understand the plight of tourism businesses across Australia. We are pleased to see the Government has once again heard the needs of the tourism industry and is looking to act and help ensure the long-term viability of our $45bn export tourism industry.”