The Australian government has announced new measures for the federal budget, including a number of initiatives which will support businesses within the tourism industry.
Managing director for the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), Peter Shelley, said: “ATEC is pleased to see a number of measures outlined in the budget which will provide support across the economy and for regional tourism businesses specifically, plus some welcome additional funding for Tourism Australia.
“Our industry has been the hardest hit in 2020, from the bushfires which saw mass cancellations from international and domestic visitors to the coronavirus which brought travel to a standstill, tourism businesses have never faced so many setbacks.
“What the tourism industry needs right now is support for businesses to get back on their feet and, where they are reliant on international borders being open, support to hang in there.”
Shelley also said tourism businesses would “welcome measures including regional capability funding, small business supports, tax breaks” and that “the extra funding for Tourism Australia would help market Australia to the world when international borders reopen”.
He continued: “As representatives of the inbound tourism sector, we are fully aware of the pressure being faced by businesses which have focused their efforts on attracting international visitors and how international and domestic travel bans have affected the industry in its entirety.
“With many of our supply chain businesses currently in hibernation, we specifically welcome the tax loss carry back initiative which will help to stem some of the flow of loss to businesses and support them through to the other side.
“While some tourism operators will benefit from the imminent return of domestic tourism, many will struggle to make anywhere near the turnover they’ve achieved in their peak.
“These are businesses which have proven their ability to be successful and to make considerable contributions to the national economy so supporting them is supporting an industry which will be primed to help drive the economic recovery of our nation.
“Our research has shown the industry is surviving on JobKeeper and its continuation through until international borders reopen will be crucial to the future of many Australian tourism businesses.
“As an employer of one in every 12 Australian workers, we cannot afford to let this industry fail.”