Regional tourism businesses across the country reliant on ‘high spending’ international visitors will be the big losers if Australian inbound tour operators (ITO) are not supported to survive until international borders reopen.
Destinations like Tropical North Queensland and central Northern Territory which are heavily reliant on international visitation depend on customers delivered through the supply gateway provided by ITOs. Without further financial support, these ITOs will not survive creating structural damage to the supply chain resulting in Australia losing its competitive edge in attracting international visitors and the billions of dollars they spend.
“International travellers become aware of product offerings in Australia, book and ultimately experience the destination as a result of the global sales network provided by the ITO,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley says.
“As the borders reopen people will be looking for assurances that their travel will be ‘COVID-safe’, have flexible booking and cancellations terms and returnable deposits if circumstances change – ITOs will provide a vital role in providing these assurances.
“ITOs are the bridge that joins the international tourism trade with Australian tourism businesses – many of which are in regional Australia and cannot connect into the global market without expert ITOs supporting and promoting them.
ATEC is calling on the Federal Government to provide a grants-based program to preserve skills and expertise in the inbound distribution network which counts around 100 specialist tourism businesses. Supporting Australia’s ITOs will deliver a significant return on investment though export revenue generated as well as the jobs saved directly within ITO businesses and for the thousands of tourism suppliers and their staff who service international visitors delivered via the ITO distribution channel.
“This investment will play an important role in helping Australia to maintain global competitiveness and connections with international markets to ensure we are ready and capable of converting this demand into actual travel.
“We know there is significant pent up demand for international travel and Australia will be a desirable destination but our ability to convert this demand to actual travel will depend on our ability to provide the structure, talent and expertise to support the recovery.”
For more information and to support ATEC’s #saveaussietourism campaign click here.