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Australian domestic tourism needs help right now as visitor numbers collapse.

January 14, 2021 Headline News No Comments Email Email

ATIC Executive Director Simon Westaway says that big falls through continual border constraints and dented confidence to travel interstate was central to the poor tourism spend and visitor data revealed in the latest tourism figures which are clear catalyst for action needed.

He added that the latest national tourism data around our free-falling visitor economy due to COVID-19 makes clear the need for future action to help underpin one of our major economic pillars and job creators, with Tourism Research Australia’s October 2020 analysis showing national overnight visitor spend (down 47%), overnight trips (down 41%) and day trip spend falling (37%) over the Jan-Oct 2020 period.

Westaway said. “The inability or lack of confidence of travelling interstate is at the heart of these repeatedly poor domestic tourism figures and the situation has now become far worse,” adding, “Open domestic borders and confidence they can stay effectively open through consistency and certainty in government decisions is the catalyst to get Australians willing to safely travel again.”

He added, “The latest domestic border situation has precipitated major cancellations in current and future bookings as reported by our tourism operators and heavily knocked any intention of future travel”, and “Today’s figures don’t capture what’s now occurring on the ground, with recent rapid and hard closed border decisions locking out entire States and regions will have significant future repercussions.”

He said, “The industry had looked to this summer high season to try to recoup some of the major losses of 2020 and compensate for our hard closed international border and loss of international visitors” adding, “That scenario is effectively crushed so future support for tourism, including certainty over the continuation of JobKeeper beyond the end of March, is a major priority.”

“Measures by Federal and State Governments to constructively support and work with Australian tourism until local vaccination rates are high and the international border re-opens must occur.”

Latest TRA data is at https://www.tra.gov.au/domestic/monthly-snapshot

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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