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

Travel industry workers call to extend JobKeeper, as international travel unlikely to resume soon

The travel industry is calling for JobKeeper to be extended while a ban on overseas travel remains in force and even interstate borders can shut without notice.



Up to 60 per cent of tourism businesses will go bust without help beyond the JobKeeper lifeline, the industry says.

Tourism bosses will hold crisis talks with Minister Dan Tehan on Wednesday, pleading the case for additional government support after the safety net expires on March 28.

South Australian travel leader Dennis Bunnik, of Bunnik Tours, says there is a strong argument for maintaining JobKeeper exclusively for the travel industry because it has “copped the brunt of the (COVID-19) pandemic”.

He warned as well as job losses, the nation faced losing a skills set if the international travel ban in place since late March last year continued this year.

“These are highly skilled people in a complex industry,” he said.

“A 36-night, six-country tour of South America doesn’t just magically happen. And these are the people you rely on if something goes wrong.”

Mr Bunnik has laid off staff and most now still employed are on JobKeeper and on reduced hours.

“It’s been very tough – even domestically borders get shut with no warning,” he said. “JobKeeper needs to be extended or a payment must be made specifically for the travel industry which is in dire straits. Other industries are recovering but no industry can withstand one year of no business, which is, we worry, is turning into two years.

“JobKeeper is scheduled to end in late March, yet our international borders re likely to remain closed for much of this year.


“For the travel industry, this spells disaster.

“Many thousands of jobs have been lost already and those that remain are hanging on by a thread. That thread is JobKeeper. Without it, our industry is simply not viable while our borders remain closed.”

Industry leaders have launched a #savethetravelindustry campaign, calling for the JobKeeper extension.

A petition on change.org calling for JobKeeper to be extended for the tourism industry had attracted more than 17,000 supporters as of 10pm Tuesday.

Tom Manwaring, chair of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents, said the industry was in crisis.“It will decimate the industry if there’s no further support after April 1,” he said. “We estimate the collapse could be as high as 60 per cent.”

Local tour operators enjoyed some periods of activity during the COVID downturn as borders reopened but Mr Manwaring said international travel agents had had “no respite”.

Before COVID, three in four Australians used a travel agent when going overseas.

Mr Manwaring said these agents’ expertise would be needed once international travel resumed – but it was not possible to just “mothball” an entire industry in the interim.

Mr Tehan suggested some continued support for the industry could be forthcoming, saying he would “continue to consult and work with the tourism sector across Australia, on a post-JobKeeper plan for tourism.”

The Federal Government had supported the industry during COVID-19 in other ways, he said, including a $5m domestic holiday advertising campaign, $308m for regional airlines, $128m for the COVID-19 Consumer Travel Support Program and $50m for the regions.
 
I understand their plight but there are other industries facing severe problems as well. The big question is where do they draw the line if they extend support?

Also, I know of an industry which has been significantly adversely affected as a result of JobKeeper and any extension to JobKeeper would extend that pain.
 
🤣🤣

Many do yes. The place is often booked out on weekends. Making the best of what one has I guess. I'm no fan though. My preference is a little island by the name of Lazarus island, best beach, and no shops/eating places/facilities at all really which is very much the appeal of the place. Making the best of what one has.

Well I think Sentosa must be going gangbusters. All the Singaporeans need to go somewhere.

My family and I actually went to stay at W Singapore Sentosa just after Xmas 2019 for a few days. The kids loves the pool. Also, Sentosa is better than I thought, even though it is heavily commercialised.

The good thing is that it is not far from Maxwell Food Centre in terms of taxi $$ :D.
 
“A 36-night, six-country tour of South America doesn’t just magically happen. And these are the people you rely on if something goes wrong.”

I can't see comments like that getting the sympathy that he needs :(

A 36 night holiday in Sth America is not an essential service.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: VPS
I think any further assistance needs to be highly targetted.

Im not in favour of propping up travel agents, they were a dying industry, even without Covid-19 most wouldnt have been around in a few years time anyway unless they mostly did corporate travel (as companies use agents to enforce travel policies), or some other niche market. Flight Centre and other mass brands were really bad at refunding in a timely manner (and sometimes not at all), and relied on lazy customers or oldies that will age out.

Also whilst bulk of international tourism will be locked out for the rest of this year, tour/experience operators have now had 12 months to reinvent their offerings to appeal more to domestic market and given most of us cant travel overseas they had a captive market who didnt have an option to spend outside of Australia.

I disagree that Aussies arent willing to pay for luxury experiences, its just we dont want kitschy stereo types, we want genuine value. Someone inclined to take a cheapo Bali holiday probably isnt going to pay for a Hayman/Lizard Island experience, but those that might have gone to pricey resorts in Tahiti/France/Carribean would. Simialrly aussies aren't unlikley to want to hold a koala or pat a kangaroo but many do want to swim with whale sharks or sea turtles.

Businesses that relied on ripping off ill informed international tourists, need more creativity to find ways to appeal to domestic tourists.

The real damage has been done by unecessary and prolonged state border closures, and here the states need to do more to support their businesses and to give domestic consumers more confidence in booking. Maybe consumer law needs to be amended to require that businesses refund in the event of state mandated border closures.

Withholding extra federal assistance will force Premiers to be more sensible with their domestic borders, there is never a need to lock out a whole state because of an outbreak in one area. We have tools and people to track and restrict only those who propose a genuine risk.
 
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I disagree that Aussies arent willing to pay for luxury experiences, its just we dont want kitschy stereo types, we want genuine value. SOmeone included to take a cheapo Bali holiday isnt going to pay for a Hayman/Lizard Island experience, but tjose taht might have gone to pricy resorts in Tahiti/France/Carribean would.

A holiday is about a lot of things... the change of environment, change in culture, and not least the 'getting away from it'. Not turning on the tv to hear about domestic politics or hoons at your local park. It's about different food rather than 'Asian fusion'. It's fun to travel overseas!
 
I think any further assistance needs to be highly targetted.

Im not in favour of propping up travel agents, they were a dying industry, even without Covid-19 most wouldnt have been around in a few years time anyway unless they mostly did corporate travel (as companies use agents to enforce travel policies), or some other niche market. Flight Centre and other mass brands were really bad at refunding in a timely manner (and sometimes not at all), and relied on lazy customers or oldies that will age out.

Also whilst bulk of international tourism will be locked out for the rest of this year, tour/experience operators have now had 12 months to reinvent their offerings to appeal more to domestic market and given most of us cant travel overseas they had a captive market. i

I disagree that Aussies arent willing to pay for luxury experiences, its just we dont want kitschy stereo types, we want genuine value. SOmeone included to take a cheapo Bali holiday isnt going to pay for a Hayman/Lizard Island experience, but tjose taht might have gone to pricy resorts in Tahiti/France/Carribean would.

Businesses that relied on ripping off ill informed international tourists, need more creativity to

The real damage has been done by unecessary and prolonged state border closures, and here the states need to do more to support their businesses and to give domestic consumers more confidence in booking. Maybe consumer law needs to be amended to require that businesses refund in the event of state mandated border closures.

Withholding extra federal assistance will force Premiers to be more sensible with their domestic borders, there is never a need to lock out a whole state because of an outbreak in one area. We have tools and people to track and restrict only those who propose a genuine risk.
I agree with everything you've said, apart from State border closures.
 
A holiday is about a lot of things... the change of environment, change in culture, and not least the 'getting away from it'. Not turning on the tv to hear about domestic politics or hoons at your local park. It's about different food rather than 'Asian fusion'. It's fun to travel overseas!

I dont disagree with any of that, Im a huge fan of overseas travel and experiencing different cultures but right now holidaying overseas isnt an option for most of us.

I've slept in salt hotel in middle of salt flats in Bolivia where there was no TV, mobile recoption or even electricity, enjoyed time in Cuba off the grid. At the other end Ive paid a fortune to stay in posh Singpaore Hotels and dine out in Chef hatted restaurants in Europe.

Just because I cant do anythign like that this year doesnt mean Im not going to take a holiday, it means I have more money to spend domestically BUT will only do so if I can book without financial risk and without risk of being prevented from leaving another state because of a covid case somewhere in the state I havent been.

On a normal year I would do at least 2 international trips (one long 4-5 weeks and a second 1 week) and 1-2 domestic short breaks (not counting work travel). In 2020 I only did 2 short domestic trips, one in my own state and the other was the AFF weekend in Canberra (back when ACT had no history fo locking NSW out).

I dont think im unsual in being prepared to take more and longer domestic trips because I cant take the inetrational trips I want before 2022. If not for the border shenaningans last year I would have spent a week in Port Douglas (FNQ crying out for business) and also spent some serious $ in WA but instead I had t stay home.

IMO WA and Qld have a real hide expecting tax payer assistance for tourism industries that would have had a lot more business if covid restrictions were targeted (not whole of state) and reviewed regualrly (not once a month nonsense that Queensland uses).
 
It's fun to travel overseas!

Although perhaps not so much in 2020/early 2021. It's easy to forget that holidaying in the middle of a pandemic is not necessarily going to be the same as in "normal times" and comes with both health and lockdown/restriction risks wherever you go. So even without the government restrictions, overseas holidays might well be off the radar for many at the moment anyway.
 
Well the government did something but not enough for tourism groups:


I would say the high cost of accommodation, car hire etc would eat up all the savings of cheap tickets. For me I would probably prefer to visit place that are driving distance.
 
Well the government did something but not enough for tourism groups
There's only so much that the government can do. They have spent so much already.

They have clearly crafted a package that relies on the states keeping borders open for it to be effective. It will be interesting to see what happens.
 
I see QF International crew that have been stood down will get $500/week until October, bother for Dom crew that are currently still stood down
 
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The real damage has been done by unecessary and prolonged state border closures, and here the states need to do more to support their businesses and to give domestic consumers more confidence in booking. Maybe consumer law needs to be amended to require that businesses refund in the event of state mandated border closures.
Not fair on the businesses IMO, if the state government closes their border, then they can be responsible for paying any refunds!

(We already have a problem with a few establishments in Queensland not taking bookings from people in Victoria - if a business can't get last minute replacement bookings, then they are only likely to take advanced bookings from people most likely to show up.)
 

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