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JobKeeper 2.0 extension a lifeline for Aussie tourism industry

The Australian Federal Government’s extension of JobKeeper provides long needed certainty extends the lifeline for thousands of Australians in tourism as the industry continues to battle through COVID-19 the Tourism and Transport Forum on Tuesday.

TTF chief executive Margy Osmond says the industry had been strongly advocating for an extension to the JobKeeper program though to at least March of next year to enable the sector to survive and provide more time to recover.

“As the significant economic and health challenges brought about by COVID-19 remain front and centre over the immediate period ahead, the Government has heard the voice of the tourism industry loud and clear about the critical need to continue JobKeeper in place as an economic lifeline,” Margy says.

“From accommodation providers, airlines, airports and cruising through to tourism operators, major and business events, performing arts centres and restaurants and cafes, today’s announcement gives our industry critical breathing space.”

“JobKeeper 2.0 will help to save thousands more tourism employees from the unemployment queue and keep them in jobs so that when we eventually come out the other side of COVID-19, we will be ready to move swiftly into the recovery phase."

Research conducted by Stafford Strategy for TTF reveals that the extension of JobKeeper until March 2021 will help to stem the flow of tourism jobs lost as a result of the ongoing restrictions on travel in place because of the pandemic.

Margy says the industry has been losing almost $10 billion per month since COVID-19 enforced lockdowns came into place and all this coming off the back of a catastrophic bushfire season that decimated tourism reliant destinations across the country.

“While some of our State and Territory borders continue to remain shut and with planned openings postponed forcing many people to delay making plans to travel, any eventual uptick in domestic tourism will not be sufficient to fill the $4 billion black hole left by the lack of international inbound travel,” Margy says.

“While we understand the JobKeeper scheme cannot go on indefinitely, tourism-related businesses have borne the brunt of government-ordered business closures and border closures.

“The seasonal nature of our sector means operators need more time to rebuild their businesses. Many would have had no opportunity if JobKeeper wasn’t extended until March 2021.

“To survive the perfect storm of 2020 the industry is grateful for this ongoing support and TTF will continue to work closely with the Government in the lead-up to the October 6 Budget as well as beyond March 2021.”
 

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