TTF Media Release

18 February 2021


Australia’s tourism industry is demanding that the Morrison Government urgently consider targeted support to save 318,000 jobs as it faces another nine months without international visitors and continuing uncertainty around domestic borders.

Economic modelling conducted by Stafford Strategy for the sector’s peak national body, the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF), reveals the fragile state of the Australian tourism industry.

The analysis projects that without further support when the JobKeeper scheme ends in March, the industry, which has already lost 506,000 full-time positions during 2020 due to COVID-19, is facing potential extinction with the estimated loss of over 300,000 real people’s jobs all over Australia.

TTF Australia CEO Margy Osmond today said, “Of those job losses the bulk will be shed in our three most populous states with 118,000 in NSW, 85,300 in Victoria and 59,700 jobs in Queensland.

“These sorts of additional job losses will be dire for the tourism industry which, after hemorrhaging tens of billions of dollars in 2020, has just lost another $6.8 billion over the peak summer holiday period with a string of domestic border closures following the Sydney Northern Beaches outbreak.

“Without this targeted industry-specific support, there may not be a tourism industry left at the end of this year.

“Tourism is uniquely affected by government decisions relating to borders and while other sectors and non-tourism related confidence may be rebounding, our tourism, transport, aviation and creative industries are still being crippled by government policy decisions.”

The core of the rescue package, which TTF has dubbed the ‘Tourism Employee and Asset Maintenance (TEAM) program’, is a proposal for targeted assistance of between $1,000 to $1500 per fortnight for each employee of eligible businesses with a 30 per cent to 50 per cent or more downturn in their 2019 turnover.

The TEAM rescue package has been costed at a total value of $7.74 billion, covering the period from 1 April 2021 to 31 December 2021, reviewed quarterly. If this program is put in place, the industry could regrow to 75% of its 2019 employment figures.

This is a dilemma being faced by many countries with Singapore confirming it will continue its payroll support specifically for the tourism and aviation sectors for another six months from April. The newly elected US Government is also considering a range of new supports for their beleaguered tourism sector.

Ms Osmond said that prior to the pandemic, the tourism industry spend was worth $152 billion to the Australian economy. It’s now worth $71 billion, a staggering $81 billion loss up to September 2020 and these figures will be even more tragic when new data is released in March this year.

“To be entirely clear, domestic tourism spend alone cannot replace international receipts and this is only intensified by the uncertainty around domestic borders.”


Contact: TTF Director of Corporate Affairs and Membership Graeme Moses or 0434 569 470