TTF Media Release
Thur 11 March
CHEAP FLIGHT SUPPORT A GOOD START BUT NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH TO SAVE WIDER TOURISM JOBS
The Federal Government’s targeted support for tourism and aviation including half-price airline tickets and direct support for airlines and airports is a good start but does not go far enough to save wider tourism jobs.
TTF Australia Chief Executive Margy Osmond said at first blush the $1.2 billion in support was direct and consumer focused and would help to restore travel confidence in the wake of fluctuating state border closures, but elements of the package, like no wider support beyond more loans and debt, was not what industry needed.
“This airline package is a good start, but it will not be enough and TTF will now work through the detail with all its members, the wider sector, and the Government, in the coming days, TTF CEO Margy Osmond said today.
“The Australian Government have long heard TTF’s views on the need for targeted and direct support for a large portion of the industry to help keep tourism standing while international borders remain closed. It is a real positive that the Federal Government has recognised that our sector needs specific support but there is more work to do.
“From accommodation providers and tourism operators through to transport companies, attraction operators, business event organisers and cultural organisations, many businesses are at the wall.”
TTF said that the simple and most effective financial lever to help large elements of tourism industry survive until the resumption of full international travel was a dedicated and targeted wage subsidy scheme for tourism. Of course, the best ‘subsidy’ would be the early opening of international borders.
“As JobKeeper ends, the consistent view of our industry has been that a simply administered wage subsidy scheme targeted to our sector alongside dedicated cash boosts would always be more effective at keeping operators going, rather than more loans, more debt and more deferrals,” Margy Osmond continued.
“This package is a good start but without dedicated support for large elements of the sector, as state border uncertainty continues and as widespread consumer confidence remains at an all-time low, some real improvements can be made to this package, which we will discuss with the Government in the coming days and weeks.”
Recent economic modelling conducted by Stafford Strategy projected that without widespread support for all elements of the sector, the industry, which has already lost 506,000 full-time positions during 2020 due to COVID-19, is facing major challenges with the estimated loss of over 300,000 jobs all over Australia. Some of these jobs will hopefully feel the benefit of the flight stimulus but with the best will in the world, hundreds of thousands of jobs are still at risk.
“Of those job losses, the bulk would be shed in our three most populous states with 118,000 in NSW, 85,300 in Victoria and 59,700 jobs in Queensland.”
New TTF ‘heat map’ research this week also revealed over a third (34 per cent) of ABS defined areas across Australia suffered a 40 per cent or greater loss of visitation over the year to end September 2020, including across metropolitan capitals Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, where the industry continued to struggle.
Contact: TTF Manager Policy & Government Relations and Media Lindsay Hermes email@example.com 0418 948 447