Published on : Thursday, March 12, 2020
The federal government of Australia just announced to issue a $17.6 billion emergency package to boost the ailing economy of the country. Out of the total sum, $1 billion is allocated for the tourism industry. The tourism industry can spend the allotted budget by 30th June 2021. The decision has been undertaken to keep in mind the adverse effects of the novel coronavirus on the tourism sector.
Ever since the outbreak of the deadly virus, the tourism industry has faced a huge crisis and the inbound tourism of the country has dramatically decreased. This has also put the livelihood of many medium and small-scale tour operators under threat. According to the Tourism and Transport Forum, the international visit has decreased by an approximate of 1.8 million people so far this year which is 40% less as compared to last year. The amount equals to $2 billion loss in income of the tourism industry every month alongside numerous job losses in the sector.
Simon Birmingham, Tourism Minister, Australia said in a recent press statement that the amount is being provided to provide assistance to industries and regions that are most highly affected by the virus. He mentioned that the decision aims to recognize the tourism and export sectors that heavily rely on international trade and activity. He said the government would focus on the companies most exposed to international markets and rely on them for the continuation and survival of their business. He also warned that in accordance with the present situation, worse times might arrive in forthcoming days and Australia had to stand strong against the same. He also encouraged domestic travel within Australia so that small-sized businesses can continue to operate inside the country.
Phillipa Harrison, Managing Director, Tourism Australia added that she aims to reinforce the idea that Australia is the most memorable and desirable tourism destination on earth. Australia has also considered issuing a travel ban on Europe and extending similar restrictions to China, Italy, South Korea and Iran.
Simon Westaway, Executive Director, Australian Tourism Industry Council joined in to say that government’s intervention to provide support to tourism industry was inevitable as nearly 1 million Australians are employed in more than 300,00 tourism businesses.