Struggling tourism industry call for more support amid ‘devastating’ border closures
The tourism industry have sent out a mayday for billions of dollars in additional aid, after being warned travel will likely remain off the cards this year.
The head of Australia’s Health Department, Professor Brendan Murphy, says while it’s hard to make long term predictions, international borders will likely stay shut until at least 2022.
CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum, Margy Osmond, told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett state border closures are adding to the hurt.
“A lot of people have been hanging on by their fingernails for quite some time,” she said.
“While WA has some of the most spectacular things in the country to see, your locals are not going to fill the gap.”
She said 60 to 70 per cent of tourism income usually comes from international or interstate travellers.
“Your average international traveller … spends $8,500 while they are here, an Australian who goes on a trip spends about $1,500.”
The Tourism Transport Forum are now calling for a targeted wage support program for the industry from the government, similar to Job Keeper.
“We need a strategic approach,” she said.
Owner of McLeod Tours in Margaret River, Lincoln McCleod, told 6PR Mornings “there are still a lot of people hurting, and we need interstate travel to survive”.
“We do get some local Perth people coming on our wine tours, but it’s not the sort of tourism that’s going to prop up a whole industry,” he said.
“The way the borders are shutting down, it’s devastating not just our business … but our whole industry is hurting.”
Click play to hear more on 6PR Mornings.
(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)