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End of JobKeeper means 1 in 3 tourism jobs and businesses to go

April 1, 2021 Business News, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Peak tourism industry body, Australia Tourism Industry Council Executive Director Simon Westaway says the end of JobKeeper end means it is lights out for over 1 in 3 tourism jobs and businesses, with over 1 in 3 tourism businesses cutting staff and downsizing with many forced to close because of ongoing low consumer confidence in travel.

He added, that 38% of Australian tourism businesses have told us they are cutting jobs and reducing workforce hours to stay viable with the ending of JobKeeper, and “60% of tourism enterprises are in a weaker position since COVID-19, with 47% remaining open but having fewer staff, and travel bookings and business activity are nationally down 25% at March-end”.

He said, “As predicted by Federal Treasury, the end of JobKeeper is having a major impact on exposed sectors”, and “This includes Australian tourism and the tens of thousands of at-risk jobs connected to it.”

Westaway also said that just released Federal tourism figures are proof, with Australia’s tourism industry losing an astonishing $44 billion in domestic visitor spending in the year 2020 plus $34 billion in international visitor losses, adding, “With a workforce peak of around 1 million before the virus, our sector has lost over 185,000 direct and indirect jobs through the pandemic and is now the fastest falling employment category.”

He said, “The situation facing struggling tourism enterprises in our capital cities, where the bulk of these businesses exist, will see worsening levels of job losses and inevitable business closures”, and “Operators of tours and experiences across Australia, many by small family businesses, remain heavily impacted by hard border restrictions and consumer confidence in travel hasn’t returned.”

Westaway said ATIC had three demands for the Federal Government including more funding for discount flights, targeted support for affected tourism businesses and a faster vaccine rollout, adding, “The Morrison Government must invest more in domestic discount air seats, which are marketable to all destinations including every capital city, to bring confidence to interstate travel” and “All capitals and our entire domestic flight network need to be eligible for discount fares through the Government’s Tourism Aviation Network Support Program to help reset our industry.”

He said, “Ongoing border restrictions require further targeted federal financial assistance to still struggling tourism businesses until the risks of the virus outbreak are reduced by the vaccine rollout”, and “Australia’s national COVID-19 vaccine rollout must be sped up and we urge for a greater focus on immediately vaccinating key workers including front-line health, hotel quarantine and at airports.”

Westaway added, “We repeat the call for national consistency across Federal and State Governments to get the national vaccine rollout efficiently moving and a unified response to declared virus hotpots.”

An edited report by John Alwyn-Jones

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