1 April 2021
Urgent support is needed for tourism businesses which are shedding staff and at risk of closure due to JobKeeper ceasing during ongoing border closures and traveller uncertainty.
Tourism Council WA’s latest industry survey reveals 29 per cent of tourism businesses are now reducing staffing levels due to the end of JobKeeper. This job loss is in addition to the 6,100 jobs already lost across the industry in 2020, according to Tourism Research Australia’s latest State Tourism Satellite Account.
Tourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said the tourism industry remained at risk of losing critical businesses and staff due to ongoing border closures and consumer uncertainty.
“During March, business activity across the industry declined by 20 per cent, according to our latest survey of tourism businesses,” Mr Hall said.
“Now that JobKeeper has come to an end, many businesses have started shedding staff and many are at risk of shutting their doors. Tourism to WA is down, but businesses and jobs are not protected by either JobKeeper or the national vaccine rollout.
“Pairing that with the recent interstate border closure with Queensland and ongoing consumer uncertainty in interstate travel, we expect thousands of jobs to be lost across the industry.”
As the gateway for interstate visitors, Perth businesses and jobs have been the hardest hit in WA.
“Everyone is leaving Perth for the regions, but no one is visiting Perth from interstate or overseas,” Mr Hall said.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to provide discount flights to Perth as it has done for other struggling cities such as Darwin, Adelaide, and Hobart.”
Mr Hall also called on both the Federal and State Governments to put programs in place to protect and support the industry.
“It is critical that the Federal government protects the industry by providing direct financial support to struggling tourism businesses until the vaccine rollout is complete,” Mr Hall said.
“We urge the State Government and Tourism WA to focus on voucher programs and marketing initiatives to target businesses that are struggling due to interstate border closures.
“The State Government should also provide direct support to struggling tourism businesses by waiving government costs such as licence fees, land taxes, water rates, and payroll tax.”
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