This week we have released economic modelling that indicates the ongoing coronavirus outbreak is set to hit the Australian visitor economy much harder than SARS.

Although the full extent of the economic impact won’t be known for some time, we wanted our members to know the implications should the virus fail to be contained within the next 3-6 month period.

Some of the key findings from our research are:

International Visitation – Down 40% Jan to June 2020 compared to same period last year, a loss of 1.8m visitors.

International Receipts – Monthly average loss post-March 2020 in total tourism receipts from all inbound markets $2b on a per month basis.

Tourism Jobs – Assumes that positions are lost permanently for at least a 12-month period.

Staffing reduction of between 15% -20% may be occurring, the net effect being an estimated reduction of 99,000 – 133,200 jobs in mostly part-time, casual and contract/seasonal jobs/positions

Lost salaries and wages into broader economy – $3.9b to $5.3b

Lost PAYG tax contributions – $1.12b to $1.59b.

The figures are stark.  Although we have a robust health system, this global health crisis comes at a time when Australian tourism is already on its knees.  This is a point we are making crystal clear to Treasury in Canberra and others around the country when it comes to government support.

On a brighter note Infrastructure Australia launched the 2020 version of its Priority List in Canberra on Wednesday. In the current environment Australia’s large infrastructure pipeline will be all the more important in helping to maintain economic growth.

It was great to see some game-changing infrastructure projects on the High Priority Project List including the next stage of the Sydney Metro, the City and South West link via the CBD, Western Sydney Airport and the Brisbane Metro.

However, we would love to see Melbourne Airport Rail Link elevated from a Priority Initiative to a High Priority Initiative or Project and likewise with Sydney Cruise terminal capacity as these important tourism initiatives progress. Similarly, with Gold Coast Light Rail Stage 3A hopefully moving to the High Priority Project List. Hopefully these can occur sooner rather than later.

We applaud Julianne Alroe, Romilly Madew and all the team at IA on the work they do in helping to facilitate our nation building infrastructure plans and the significant economic benefits they provide.

Margy O