Scott Morrison has dismissed the Tourism industry group’s criticism of his $1.2 billion stimulus package for the industry, announced last night.
The prime minister is offering 800,000 discounted airline tickets as well as loans for struggling tourism operators, designed to ease the pain when JobKeeper wage subsidies end this month.
The major airlines have lauded the half-price return flights to more than a dozen regional tourism destinations.
But Tourism industry groups are disappointed about the announcement.
Flight Centre managing director Graham Turner says the $1.2 billion package will do little for the tourism industry.
“It is a very small, very meagre package at best,” he told Nine on Thursday.
“I don’t think this is going to help at all, really. It is about the borders. Keeping the domestic borders open and getting the international borders open as soon as possible.”
Graham “Skroo” Turner, Flight Centre MD
What’s going on?
An estimated 800,000 government-subsidised tickets will be offered over the scheme’s duration which includes the Easter and winter school holidays.
Return flights to eligible locations will receive a 50 per cent discount between April 1 and July 31.
Mr Morrison said the airfares would help Australians support tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines doing it tough during the pandemic.
“This is our ticket to recovery,” he said on Thursday.
What about agents?
It’s Karryon’s understanding that more details on the support for travel agents are to be announced tomorrow, Friday 12 March with further support grants and interest-free loans expected.
While details are still to be clarified, Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has confirmed that a further $128 million will be available to assist the travel industry due to the ongoing closure of Australia’s international borders.
According to a statement released by the Council of Australian Tour Operators today: “As the overall support package is very involved and covers multiple sectors, the government are using today to focus on the aviation and loans component.”
We’ll let you know as soon as we know.
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