Published on : Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Australia’s tourism industry is expected to lose almost USD 7 billion placing 320,000 jobs at risk over the summer holiday period due to domestic and international border closures induced by COVID-19.
As per a new analysis by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF), the short period of December 24, 2020 to January 31, 2021, holiday spending is predicted to be down by USD 6.8 billion. If the border closures persist, as many as 320,000 jobs in the tourism sector could be lost by September this year.
Margy Osmond, the CEO of TTF said that the idea that domestic tourism could replace the economic windfall brought in by international visitors is a myth.
To quote Osmond, “Suggestions that increased domestic travel can replace the lack of international visitation is a complete myth with the average international tourist spending three times the average domestic tourist and in the case of Chinese tourists – our biggest market pre-Covid – spending over five and a half times.”
“The absence of this high yield market, the continuing uncertainty around domestic borders and the lack of confidence that the constant border changes create makes it impossible for domestic tourism to compensate for the lack of international travellers,” Osmond added. Osmond urged the government to bring in a blanket set of rules for domestic travel, so that booking for holidays interstate becomes easier and more predictable.
“While health remains the number one priority in the management of COVID-19 and TTF has continued to support the Government in its management of the pandemic, the prospect of no international travel in 2021 makes the domestic tourism market all the more critical,” she said.
To avoid 320,000 job losses by September 21, Osmond said that some sort of support is essential for tourism operators and their staff.