TTF Media Release

6 August 2020

Slump in March job figures the tip of the iceberg for tourism industry 

A slump in tourism job numbers for the March quarter due to the impact of the summer bushfires and the beginning of COVID 19 travel restrictions are just the tip of the iceberg for the Australian tourism industry the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF) said today.

The figures released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics showed the number of jobs in the tourism industry fell 3.0 per between March 2019 and March 2020 in comparison to economy wide jobs which grew by 1.7 per cent for the same period.

TTF CEO Margy Osmond said that while the numbers were yet to fully reflect COVID 19 enforced job losses, most of which occurred after the end of March, they revealed the beginning of record unemployment across the sector and the rest of the economy as we continue to battle the global pandemic.

“The accommodation sector was hardest hit losing 11,600 job between March 2019 and March 2020 and we know that has increased exponentially since the end of March as hotels struggle with occupancy rates below 10 per cent for some properties and with no end in sight to their pain.

“And the aviation sector has shed thousands of jobs most of them post March as they were essentially grounded with the exception of essential travel.

“While we are expecting the end of June figures to paint a much grimmer picture the second wave of COVID 19 infections in Victoria and to a lesser extent NSW and the subsequent borders closures mean the news is likely to be even worse as we head into spring.

“These numbers and the estimates Stafford Strategy made for TTF in May of job losses for the sector in excess of 400,000 clearly support the need to extend the jobkeeper subsidy until March 2021 and most likely beyond if the tourism industry is to survive the economic catastrophe created by the pandemic.”

“In this environment the Federal and individual state budgets due to be announced later in the year will be all the more critical in providing additional industry specific measures to ensure our lucrative tourism industry can recover as soon as possible and return to pre-covid levels of economic contribution and employment.”


Media Contact:           Graeme Moses at or 0434 569 470