Brace yourselves… Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said today that a new package of support for the tourism and travel sector will be announced within days.
Mr Frydenberg visited Cairns on Monday to take the pulse of business operators on their successes and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The visit came as the Tourism and Transport Forum released heat map research showing more than 34 per cent of the country’s tourism hotspots had suffered a 40 per cent or more decline in visitors in the year ended September, due to the pandemic.
Falls in visitor numbers in the rest of Australia ranged between 10 per cent to 40 per cent, the research by Stafford Strategy found.
Meanwhile, for the outbound sector, the ‘Save the travel industry’ challenge remains an even longer and perilous one if there isn’t to be sufficient or appropriate financial support when JobKeeper ends.
With no clarity or timeline around international borders reopening other than “at the end of this year” travel agents have been left still sifting through thousands of unresolved travel credits and refunds for no monetary gain.
The treasurer said the government had already committed $251 billion in support for business and industry, with a further $100 billion still to be rolled out.
However, he recognised there were specific challenges in aviation, travel and tourism which needed a government response.
“We’re still finalising those details but it’s a matter of days,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“What I’ve heard from some businesses that I’ve met is that some are doing well and others are finding it a bit more challenging… so it’s about targeting that support but also providing opportunities for those who are doing OK to even take on more workers.”
Josh Frydenberg, Treasurer
The travel and tourism sector has previously argued for JobKeeper to be extended for the tourism and aviation markets.
But Mr Frydenberg said: “There should be no expectation of another economy-wide wage subsidy.”
Finally, a resolution beckons and we have everything crossed for the industry post-March 28 and the end of JobKeeper.
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