Published on : Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Australian tourism experienced huge blow during the festive period. A recent analysis hinted at a loss of around $3 billion during the Christmas and New Year weeks. Following the renewed rise in coronavirus-related new infections on a global scale, visitors were apprehensive about traveling during the festive time of the year. Australian tourism industry has suffered an unprecedented loss over the period of Christmas-New Year weeks.
Records confirm that the Australian tourist industry contributed a total of $60.8 billion in 2019 – more than 3% of GDP – in which more than $5 billion came from Australians traveling within the country during the festive months of Christmas. According to the report from the Tourism & Transport Forum, with various restrictions still in place tourists indulged into restricted travelling and this affected the revenue generation and hence this year’s earning is has almost been halved compared to last year’s figures.
The forum commissioned economics consultancy Stafford Strategy to investigate the situation. The report estimated that generally Australians spent $5.5 billion on travel, accommodation and tourist activities between December 24 and January 11, however this year the total bill will be $2.9 billion lower as several refused to step out of their abode owing to the pandemic threat and repeat virus outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Businesses in New South Wales alone suffered a loss of $125 million a day due to the closure of borders and restrictions imposed on visitors. Besides NSW, Victoria also lost about $172 million a day where New South Wales tourists have stopped visiting during holidays.
As the tourism sector is experiencing its worst hit during the festive months, the industry is apprehensive about staffing and employment, and experts are suggesting that there will be a huge loss in the overall economic condition, unless the government intervenes to take steps and saves the industry.
Tourism and Transport Forum Chief Executive Margy Osmond mentioned that the Australian tourism industry is border sensitive and this closure due to virus threat has affected immensely on the seasonal industry, and hence long term support for the industry is essential.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals that the number of tourism jobs has fallen from its peak of 747,100 in December 2019 to 634,000 in the September quarter of 2020. This suggests the sector has been disproportionately affected by Covid-19, as it has shed around 15% of jobs compared with 5.3% across the wider economy.