Airline Wage Subsidy Must be Extended to Small Tourism Businesses

18 March 2021

Tourism Council WA has called on the Federal Government to extend JobKeeper for all at-risk tourism businesses following the revelation that the major airlines have received a seven month extension of wage subsidies.

Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said that major airlines were a critical function of the tourism industry and needed the seven month extension, however other small tourism businesses and jobs were also at risk due to the lack of international tourism.

“It’s great that airlines are receiving this JobKeeper extension, but our CBD hotels, tour operators and world-class attractions are still struggling to survive as a result of the international border restrictions,” Mr Hall said.

“Small tourism businesses need a seven-month JobKeeper extension as much as the airlines. Most tourism operators are sole traders and family businesses - the loss of JobKeeper means not only will their business close, but it will result in financial distress and loss of livelihood as well.

“Until international and interstate travel recovers, and confidence returns, we need to have direct ongoing financial support for these at-risk tourism businesses to retain businesses and jobs if the state hopes to compete in the new domestic tourism market.”

Tourism Council WA is calling for Perth to be added to the list of destinations as part of the Federal discount airfare scheme in order to save local jobs and businesses and recover valuable interstate tourism.

“Perth is the gateway for interstate tourism in WA and it is only fair that Perth is included in this list as we’re seeing other capital cities like Darwin, Adelaide, and Hobart being added,” Mr Hall said.

- Ends -