Australians are being urged to support tourism operators after domestic tourism spending fell by $11.7 billion in April and May of this year.
According to the latest National Visitor Survey (NVS) from Tourism Research Australia data, 9.6 million fewer domestic overnight trips were taken in April 2020 compared to April 2019, with domestic overnight spend down 91 per cent, or $7 billion, to $666 million in the same period.
Despite an easing of some COVID-19 restrictions in May that resulted in some improvements, overnight trips still dropped by 67 per cent to 3.1 million compared to May 2019.
Domestic overnight spend was down 82 per cent to $1.1 billion for the month, representing a loss of $4.8 billion on May 2019.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said while anecdotal feedback from the recent school holidays indicated things had improved in some Australian regions, the data still reinforced the need for Australians to back the sector and the one in 13 jobs reliant on tourism.
“Whilst our government’s economic support for the industry, which includes the extension of JobKeeper, is helping to cushion the blow, these figures are a reminder of the need for us to support our incredible tourism operators,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The necessary closure of our international borders has been critical in the fight against COVID-19; however, it has meant those tourism regions and operators who are reliant on international visitors continue to do it incredibly tough.”
“Australia is lucky enough to be home to some of the most unique and wonderful experiences, but with many of our top attractions most popular with international visitors, we need Australians to help fill the void until our international borders re-open again.
“We want Australians to make the most of what our country has to offer by not just going on a road trip, but by booking an experience as well, whether it be taking a surf lesson in Byron Bay, making your own whisky in Tasmania, kayaking through Nitmiluk Gorge or learning Indigenous art skills in Ceduna.
“Not only will this provide them with the opportunity to perhaps try something new or tick off a bucket list activity, but it will go a long way in helping to support those operators and businesses that rely on the millions of international visitors who travel here each year to enjoy all of these experiences,” he said.
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