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Extend JobKeeper: Latest Tourism Figures A Catalyst For Necessary Action

In light of continuing State, Territory and International border restrictions, The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) is urgently calling on the Government to extend its JobKeeper support program beyond March 2021.

In light of continuing State, Territory and International border restrictions, The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) is urgently calling on the Government to extend its JobKeeper support program beyond March 2021.

In a media statement issued today, ATIC said 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.

ATIC Executive Director Simon Westaway said big falls through continual border constraints and dented confidence to travel interstate was central to the poor tourism spend and visitor data.

Tourism Research Australia’s October 2020 analysis had national overnight visitor spend (down 47%), overnight trips (down 41%) and day trip spend falling (37%) over the Jan-Oct 2020 period.

None of which makes great reading whatsoever for the so-called recovery of travel in 2021.

Turns out these controversial ‘Wish you weren’t here’ postcards, created back in July 2020 by Victorian-based graphic designers Jess Wheeler and Guillermo Carvajal are up for another runout.

Victoria Postcards
Read the full ‘Wish you weren’t here’ story here
Victoria Postcards

“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,” Mr Westaway said.

“Opening domestic borders and giving confidence that they can stay effectively open through consistency and certainty in government decisions is the catalyst to get Australians willing to safely travel again.

“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.

“Today’s figures don’t capture what’s now occurring on the ground. Recent rapid and hard closed border decisions locking out entire States and regions will have significant future repercussions.

“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. 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.”

Simon Westaway, ATIC Executive Director

“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.”

You can read the latest monthly TRA data snapshot at https://www.tra.gov.au/domestic/monthly-snapshot