Published on : Monday, January 25, 2021
For tourism businesses, the Morrison government is thinking of additional tailored support to help the hard-hit ones by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and international border close downs, as domestic tourism is yet to fill the expenditure gap.
The newly appointed Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Dan Tehan reportedly said in a group interview with various media outlets that he has been engaging “heavily” with the industry “to listen to their concerns and also to get thoughts, ideas and feedback from them as to how the government may be able to assist them while we wait for international tourism to come back online”.
Tehan’s comments came as he repeated that Australia is improbable to welcome international tourists for the coming 9 to 12 months.
This signifies that businesses which are typically dependant on such travelers remain “in a state where it is very difficult for them to succeed economically”.
The comments of Tehan come in contrast to those of Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. He has said that the government has no plans of extending wage subsidies for the tourism after the JobKeeper scheme winds up in March.
This argument comes after a tough 2020 for tourism. And, while other hard-hit businesses in hospitality and retails, for example, have succeeded in reopening, the ongoing close down of the international border signifies businesses relying on travel are constantly encountering struggles with uncertainty.
While speaking to SmartCompany, Tom Youl, a tourism analyst for IBISWorld, have explained that actually, in an average year, domestic tourists account for about 70% of all tourism spend in Australia. As tourists from abroad are more lucrative options on a per-visitor basis, he says that the volume pales in comparison to domestic travelers.
To top it all, travelers to Australia spent about $31 million in 2019. Australians, by contrast, spent about $57 million overseas. Therefore, if all that money goes towards Aussie tourism instead of abroad, tourism could be in for a $26 million windfall. Regrettably, that’s not how it works.