Would you agree more support to tourism sector by the Government in all of year 2021?


Established Member
Mar 8, 2006
Given that the international borders will be closed for another year, would you support additional subsidies by the government for another year?

I am in 2 minds about this, whilst I felt very sorry for them, the government cannot support the tourism industry forever, as the border could still be closed in 2022 or beyond, dependent on the outcome of Covid-19 vaccines.

Of course, separate question, would Qantas survive this?
Lots of issues here.

For employees, I think you might as well offer a minimum level of support equal to jobseeker. It's not much, but for those who want it, they might prefer to remain 'on the books', receive at least a little bit of income, and have a job ready when the sector picks up again.

For the business itself, I'd rather see it in the form of vouchers to the public who can then vote with their wallets. I don't want to encourage poorly performing businesses, whether they are the end providers, or the intermediaries.

For example, should Flight Centre get government assistance when they caused such hardship to thousands of Aussies? Where's the reward for agents who didn't put people through that?

on the other hand, should government assistance be used to fund the debts of businesses or keep businesses going that were on the edge anyway? Should we let market forces decide? Rex was able to capitalise on Virgin's misfortune to - presumably - get cheap planes, access to pilots and crew. They are able to offer some very attractive fares. Is government assistance going to be providing barriers to entry for others that could come in, take over assets unburdened, and offer better value for money for the Aussie consumer?
I understand the desire not to continue propping up "zombie businesses" that will no longer be profitable when things return to normal. However I do think it is reasonable for the government to continue providing (at least) JobKeeper to tourism businesses, travel agents, airlines, etc. whose businesses are directly impacted by government policies around border closures. Many of these businesses are structurally sound and would return to profitability given the opportunity, but cannot operate sustainably while the borders are closed due to government policies.

I'm not saying all borders should reopen immediately. But as long as the various federal/state governments keep borders closed, I don't think it's unreasonable to compensate businesses directly impacted by those very policies.
'Would you agree more support to tourism sector by the Government in all of year 2021?'

Mattg - what level for the 'jobkeeper'? The base Newstart level, or with some sort of supplement (ie up to double newstart)?
Mattg - what level for the 'jobkeeper'? The base Newstart level, or with some sort of supplement (ie up to double newstart)?

I don't think it would be fair to revert to the Newstart level (i.e. the base "dole" rate without any supplement, which is widely reported to be near-impossible to live on) in the case of businesses that are still structurally sound, and would be quite capable of operating profitably if not for the border closures that they have no control over.

As for how exactly it should work or the rate, I don't necessarily have an opinion on that. That's for the government to decide. My point is just that the tourism/airline industry has been adversely impacted more than most other industries and will need extra support to survive the border closures for such an extended period.
The biggest problem I have is that this could go for a long time, like years. How long should the government prop up sectors? Does it mean those business just get money and do nothing? Every business owner takes a risk when they open up their business.

By having federal government keep propping up tourism, it just give more excuse for certain state premiers to continue shutting borders. If the Feds turns off the tap, the state premier would most likely to not close the border unless they have to.

My preference is to have national standard on interstate border policies, so that we can generate far more domestic trips without worrying that the state border will close tomorrow. Federal government should provide credit for every Australian to use for trips, but can only use it in small to medium tourism companies.
There are multiple layers to this, surely, and assistance must be strategic and targetted not blanket.

There are businesses that target international tourists, and charge significant $$$ for activities that domestic tourists wouldn't dream of paying, these are certainly suffering significantly.

There are spots (like Gold Coast, NSW South Coast that rely on interstate tourism that must have been challenged by border closures or concern about border closures.

Then there are places that primarily appeal to city crowds from the same state - these places are probably doing great (eg Surf Coast, Mornington Peninsula, the Prom in Victoria, Robe in SA, Byron Coast in NSW etc) that may well be doing OK this summer.

And then there are airlines, where it is complicated. They are effected by tourism, but business traffic is their mainstay and some of that may never come back.
There are multiple layers to this, surely, and assistance must be strategic and targetted not blanket. <snip>

Exactly. Not all businesses will survive no matter how well run they were previously. It can be argued that it perverts the capitalist system for the government to choose which businesses survive and which don't.

While the pandemic wasn't 'planned' there are always things that happen that affect businesses, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly. This is a quick change that will need skilled business people who are able to discover and fully exploit new opportunities. If they're still trying to revive a dying business then we're wasting money and not using resources to their fullest.

It is sad for the people involved and they need to be supported, but not at the expense planning for the new way of doing business.

I'm old enough to remember twice daily mail deliveries, milk and newspapers home delivered, where flying was a luxury and an overseas trip was a once in a lifetime event. Things change.

What will people do for recreation in the future? Who knows? Maybe travel will be part of it? I hope so, but will always remember what we're going through now. It will affect how I travel in the future.

General travel agencies were a dying business and the new paradigm of travel booking has yet to be determined.

Good business people will succeed. Those who aren't so good will rightfully fail.

Que será.
Some travel agencies have already closed their doors.others have already announced they will close their doors at the end of March when jobkeeper ends so why subsidise them.
So here is one that won an award as best Travel Agency group in 2019.
No. Liberals have a mantra of free enterprise, not socializing losses. So said Newstart Dole was always under minimum, and presumed one could get some part time income, somehow. That is false now. Now the deplorables have spent their super. failed to save, and parents may also be savings depleted. Thus some real policy reforms, including commercial property warehousing and tax ddns on long term vacant prime property.
There needs to be some economic incentive for the states to be sensible about when to close their borders. With JobKeeper they have regularly been far too trigger happy to close borders due to a handful of cases or even just one case in the community.

A fair bit of the pain being felt in Queensland and WA is self inflicted by their state governments. Many people who would normally travel interstate haven't been able to due to state border closures. For instance Far North Queensland lost practically all domestic travellers from Victoria and most from NSW as well in the peak tourist season in 2020.

If the states are irrational about closing the borders they shouldn't expect the Feds to foot the bill indefinitely.
If the states are irrational about closing the borders they shouldn't expect the Feds to foot the bill indefinitely.

That's fair enough, survival of the fittest. No one's to blame.
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If the state governments want to supplement the ongoing financial support provided by the government they are free to do so. There's nothing stopping e.g. the QLD government giving financial assistance to its tourism industry. The Federal government has given multiple times the support that state governments have.
What about the ancillary businesses that aren't directly recognised as being in the tourism industry?

E.g. catteries and dog boarding places. I wonder how many of them are really feeling the pinch at the moment? Yet I bet they're not even being thought of as supporting tourism.

And there are lots more.
I would much prefer to see the federal government partially underwrite a travel insurance scheme that covers all costs associated with domestic border closures. It's going to be hard to get cross-border travel going again otherwise.
I would much prefer to see the federal government partially underwrite a travel insurance scheme that covers all costs associated with domestic border closures. It's going to be hard to get cross-border travel going again otherwise.
I think the only chance of them agreeing to partially underwrite such a scheme would be if the states agreed to obey national guidelines as to when domestic borders should be closed and reopened. In other words I can't see that happening.
No. They were given one year of free money - as were many other sectors. Afraid they will just have do something else. At the same time the fedgov should do something about landlords with excessive vacancies, and pull the pin on them after 3-20 years leaving something vacant.

I will add this. The cost of opening and closing a business is horrendous, perhaps more than anywhere else. Rents, and the terms are unfair. Public liability insurance for a hole in the wall coffee place can exceed $10000 alone. This makes it hard to run marginal businesses, and harder to write off losses should the business fold. Thus fedgov should stop subsidising idle resources and perks to one business with 45 entities. The objective is a more level playing field.

Another is is March. Rental protection should end by then, Banks will be giving stick to those in arrears. I see a lot of pain coming. I suggest upgrading tafe to German levels, something that is still in the too hard basket.

Travel related businesses are the victims of state/federal who pays for that - not out of my budget cough. Right now, they just say 'no' because they saw what happened OS. Except Taiwan and China who use mobile phone geopositioning for least cost containment.
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The best support the government could give is say “Australia will begin allowing entry to vaccinated tourists from X date”, then the whole industry has something to plan for.

For all the talk of “the vaccine is not a silver bullet”, the simple fact of the matter is that it’s the only bullet. The federal government has made it clear from the beginning that the vaccine is the way out, so set the date and work with it. If the vaccine isn’t as effective as hoped, then work with what we’ve got.
USA just awarded an Australian mob $300 million for test kits @ home. Airline travel will depend on quality test kits, if airports fail to have an onsite pathology lab.

IF CSL is not fermenting batches now, I assume the mother stock might be changing, or adjunct modification. Personally I reckon a multi-vitamin tablet course a week before the shot, may make a huge positive difference. Will invisible dye be added for a uv tattoo?

Can .au use the UQ's ferret stock to test the Oxford vaccine spacing? Or did someone else take up that capacity?

Indonesia reckons they have an electronic covid sniffer. Dogs also can sense potassium level drops, as can a urine stick test. But oh, we will not go there.

News on the Ivermectin+VitD+Doxycycline+Zinc coughtail has been painfully slow as .... yet some countries just approved this (but not when advanced to hospital level). Why would you dis this solution, when international air travel is a must have?

Air travel is dependent on all measures being taken, including complementay vaccination for high value travellers.

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