The Morrison Government’s tourism support and recovery plans, coupled with getting more Australians travelling around Australia, will be critical to the rebound of our tourism industry, with new quarterly data revealing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during the height of restrictions.
The latest tourism data from Tourism Research Australia confirmed that international visitation and spend fell by 99 per cent in the June quarter. Domestic overnight travel also fell in the June quarter, with spend down 80 per cent to $3.9 billion and overnight trips down 67 per cent to 10 million.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the June quarterly data which covered the period where restrictions were at their highest right across the nation, showed the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our tourism businesses.
“Decisions to close our international borders, and other necessary restrictions have played a vital role in suppressing the spread of COVID-19 and have helped to keep Australians safe,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Our Government’s $314 billion in economic support, through programs such as JobKeeper and small business cash payments of up to $100,000, has sustained hundreds of thousands of tourism businesses across Australia.
“As part of our plan to support the tourism recovery, we are also providing further targeted assistance to specific sectors within the industry to help them rebound and save as many jobs as possible.
“This includes $250 million support for regional tourism to boost tourism infrastructure investment and help attract more domestic visitors to our popular tourism regions. Our $50 million business events program to get meetings, conventions and conferences up and running again, will also be crucial to the visitor economies of our capital and larger cities.
“Other measures to assist zoos and aquariums, $233 million for Commonwealth National Parks, support for World Heritage sites and over $1.3 billion in ongoing assistance for the aviation sector also continue to back the industry and save tourism jobs.”
Minister Birmingham said national monthly July data also released today, showed some positive signs with tourism spending in our region’s growing by over $1.2 billion on June and visitor nights in regional Australia at their highest since January.
“Whilst our overall economic support and targeted measures have provided a lifeline for many tourism businesses, the best support for our industry is still getting people travelling around Australia and taking interstate trips,” Minister Birmingham said.
“As some state borders begin to open up, the best thing that can happen for our tourism industry right now, is for people to make bookings and undertake trips to regions where it is safe to do so.
“I welcome recent decisions taken by the Northern Territory and South Australian Government’s to open up their borders to the ACT and New South Wales, having already opened up to Queensland, WA, and Tasmania.
“These decisions will help to save tourism businesses and jobs, and I urge other states to adopt similar health informed, evidence-based approaches to the opening up of their borders.”
The latest International Visitor Survey results and National Visitor Survey results are available on the Tourism Research Australia website at: http://www.tra.gov.au/.