The tourism industry in Australia is bracing to lose over half its usual revenue in the upcoming Christmas-New Year period owing to state border closures, in turn prompting calls for financial support in the long term.
TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, calls it a twofold setback, whereby not only the money will not be spent but also that it is the most crucial time of the year for this to occur. Osmond further added that there should be some sort of longer-term support for the sector and there should be a version of the JobKeeper.
The executive also added that the sector is more sensitive to the closure of borders and the lack of confidence that is created by this closure, additionally the sector is also highly seasonal industry, which makes it more vulnerable to such disruptions.
According to the Tourism and Transport Forum, Australians usually spend up to $5.5 billion on accommodation, travel, and tourist activities between December 24 and January 11. This year, the industry is anticipated to lose nearly $2.9 billion of that revenue to people who are unwilling or unable to travel in the light of the coronavirus outbreak on the northern beaches of Sydney.
The hit reportedly comes days prior to the cutting of the JobKeeper wage subsidy payments, on January 4, to $650 for part-timers and $1000 a fortnight for the full-time staff. Meanwhile, some NSW states closed their borders to Sydneysiders in the week prior to Christmas, throwing holiday plans for numerous Australians into disarray at a time when the tourism sector is usually at its busiest.
As per an economic analysis for TTF finds by specialist tourism consultants, Stafford Strategy, enterprises in NSW are jointly losing $125 million a day from border closures, which is preventing interstate visitors. Additional estimates cite other states comprising Victoria losing out on their daily $172 million that NSW visitors would be spending during the holidays.