TTF Media Release

Thursday 25 June 2020

Tourism industry applauds $250 million in federal support for arts and cultural sector

Tourism leaders have congratulated the Federal Government for its $250 million commitment to supporting the struggling arts, cultural, film and entertainment industries to get the show back on the road.

Margy Osmond CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum said that the arts and cultural sector were the unsung heroes of the tourism industry providing great experiences and compelling reasons to visit and revisit destinations all over the country and will be critical to the long-term tourism recovery.

“The Government has shown an understanding of their critical situation by committing cash grants and low interest loans to enable the sector to survive the next twelve months,” Margy Osmond said.

“The arts and cultural community have been devasted over recent months by the bushfires, COVID-19 and now ongoing domestic border closures and this timely response will provide much needed relief over the next twelve months.”

A consumer sentiment survey commissioned by TTF and conducted by Newgate Research revealed that a slower recovery is predicted for cultural institutions and major events with almost a third of surveyed Australians saying they won’t return to those venues until at least November.

This hesitance is despite very strong interest in this tourism sub-sector, with cultural events the fifth most preferred tourism activity for Australians, outlining their critical importance to the recovery.

“Our research shows Australians want to engage in cultural tourism but are adopting a ‘wait and see approach,’ with respect to turning sentiment into actual visitation,” Margy Osmond continued.

“Part of this is due to a physical inability to visit a show in another state. This new support can only take full effect when all domestic borders are reopened, and interstate tourism can begin to rebuild.

“Our arts and culture organisations have all the safety and hygiene protocols in place and are ready to welcome back patrons. And in these difficult times the need for Australians to escape into imagination, beauty and thought-provoking performances and exhibitions has never been more important.”

The $250 million package comprises $90 million in Commonwealth-guaranteed concessional bank loans to fund new productions and events and $75 million in grants of between $75,000 and $2 million for production and event businesses to put on festivals, concerts, tours and events.

There is a further $50 million for a ‘Temporary Interruption Fund’ designed to help local film and television producers secure finance and restart filming and production and $35 million for direct grants to Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations.

This sub-sector support would be bolstered by extending the successful JobKeeper scheme for broader tourism-related businesses who have borne the brunt of forced business shutdowns and border closures.

The seasonal nature of tourism combined with current limited intrastate demand, next-to-no interstate demand and zero international demand means operators need more time to rebuild their businesses. Many will have no opportunity to do so and tens of thousands of jobs will be lost unless JobKeeper is extended until March 2021, as recent TTF commissioned research by Stafford Strategy demonstrates.

Media Contact: TTF Manager Policy & Government Relations Lindsay Hermes 0418 948 447