January marked the beginning of international visitor nosedive

Published on : Monday, March 16, 2020

January’s bushfires marked the beginning of Australia’s international visitor nosedive which has culminated in an effective flat-lining of our export tourism industry with no end in sight.


While many businesses are now coming to terms with the impacts of the COVID-19 prevention initiatives, Australia’s tourism businesses are into their third month of concerning decline.


“Our industry has borne the brunt of two exceptional setbacks and the international visitor numbers for January, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, only provide a glimpse of where our industry is falling from,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.


Mr Shelley said Australia’s International visitor income has soared in recent years, growing from just over $20bn in 2015 to well over $45bn in 2019. Today’s ABS arrivals data revealed a negligible increase on last year’s figures – what appears to be the lowest growth rate for many years.


“With yesterday’s announcement of isolation measures for all new arrivals to Australia, our inbound tourism industry has effectively been shut down.


“No international visitors means all travel distributors, and many tourism suppliers, have no business and are unlikely to have any business in the near future. This comes right on the back of a massive decline in our industry that came as a result of January’s bushfires.”


“The damage to our inbound tourism sector across Australia will deliver a significant blow to Australia’s economy and, with more than 600,000 people employed in tourism jobs, that will have a dramatic flow on to employment.


“Australia’s tourism industry is falling from a great high – a high that has been a big part of our economic success over the past 10 years.


“We know the Government is aware of our predicament and that tourism is not alone in the crisis but what we need to do is ensure the businesses at the heart of our industry can survive the next few months and help Australia get back on its feet.


“Crucial to this will be the Government’s support in helping our inbound travel distributors to keep their business afloat, as this will be critical to maintaining Australia’s tourism ecosystem, without which our export tourism markets will struggle to recover.”


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