Tourism

Industry bodies call on government support for “horror movie” impacts of COVID-19

Key industry bodies have commented on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ release of overseas arrival figures in light of the “horror movie” unfolding in the industry.

ABS Overseas Visitor Arrivals data for the year to January 2020 showed an estimated 9.4 million in annual short-term visitor arrivals to Australia, rising 1.6 per cent in trend terms over the prior year and recording 789,000 international arrivals for the traditional high-season travel month.

The Australian Export Tourism Council’s managing director, Peter Shelley said the data showed what appears to be the lowest growth rate in many years.

“Our industry has borne the brunt of two exceptional setbacks and the international visitor numbers for January,  released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today, only provide a glimpse of where our industry is falling from,” Shelley said.

“With yesterday’s announcement of isolation measures for all new arrivals to Australia, our inbound tourism industry has effectively been shut down.

“No international visitors means all travel distributors, and many tourism suppliers, have no business and are unlikely to have any business in the near future. This comes right on the back of a massive decline in our industry that came as a result of January’s bushfires.”

Shelley called upon the government to provide support to keep the industry afloat.

“The damage to our inbound tourism sector across Australia will deliver a significant blow to Australia’s economy and, with more than 600,000 people employed in tourism jobs, that will have a dramatic flow on to employment,” he said.

“Australia’s tourism industry is falling from a great high – a high that has been a big part of our economic success over the past 10 years.”

ATIC executive director Simon Westaway said the backward-facing inbound visitor data simply reflects what a once robust Australian tourism industry looked like in contrast to how the debilitating impact of coronavirus and its spread has affected the industry.

Westaway is calling government authorities for faster delivery of visitor data to show the realtime and ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

“Based on standard timelines the horror movie that’s unfolded for Australian tourism during February and now into March will subsequently not be unveiled with formal ABS international visitor statistics until mid-April,” he said.

“Whilst industry understands the need to verify and clarify visitor data, real-time private sector insights are already showing air seat capacity and commensurate international visitor falls into Australia as upwards of 30 per cent and climbing.

“We believe it is encumbered on all agencies to best support beleaguered industries like the international student market as well as tourism and that includes any considered way of bringing a snapshot of the most recently collected visitor data further forward for release.”

Featured image source: iStock.com/ampueroleonardo

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Wholesalers

Abercrombie & Kent unveils remote Flinders Island adventure

The luxury travel connoisseur is bringing remote and unusual parts of Australia into the spotlight with the launch of this new active adventure off the Tasmanian coast.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

“There’s a fair bit of work to still go there”: ScoMo plays down hype around ‘vaccine passports’

by Ali Coulton

When the PM talks about international travel, the whole of Australia listens. However, in this instance, you’re going to have to switch your eyes on rather than your ears.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre posts $234m loss, but grows its share in “large and important” Aussie leisure market

by Huntley Mitchell

If you ignore that big negative number in the headline, it’s all very positive news here from FCTG.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas suffers $1bn half-yearly loss, pushes back international flight plans

by Huntley Mitchell

The flying kangaroo won’t be hopping overseas as soon as originally hoped, after posting a “stark, but not surprising” loss.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Brisvegas tapped as preferred host for 2032 Olympic Games

Crack a tinnie of XXXX Gold, because it looks like the Olympics might be coming to Queensland 32 years after Sydney’s hosting efforts.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line extends US pause, as Canadian port closures spark Seabourn, Princess and HAL cancellations

Canada’s obnoxiously handsome PM, Justin Trudeau, has chucked a spanner in the works for cruise fanatics over on that side of the globe.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Intrepid co-founder backs the Pinterest of travel apps

The social media platform claims to be the first to let users share travel-specific content to create real-world itineraries.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Why your clients will be drawn to Japan’s heartland once international travel restarts

by Sponsored by Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation

With your clients no doubt itching to get back overseas, here’s a destination that’s a realistic chance of reopening to Aussies before many others.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

“I thought we were going down”: What we know about the United Airlines engine explosion

The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Denver when one of its engines blew apart, raining debris on suburban neighbourhoods below.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean cops further punishment for detaining Aussie cruiser over threesome

The man had already been paid almost $100,000 by the cruise line after being detained by crew members on Explorer of the Seas for six days over false rape allegations.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Helloworld bears $15.1m loss, but retail networks still “largely intact”

by Huntley Mitchell

Helloworld swung to a loss in the first six months of FY21, but it wasn’t all bad news for the ASX-listed group.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Traditional owners threaten closure of key Kakadu tourism sites over “mismanagement” by Parks Australia

Traditional owners of Kakadu National Park have warned they will close parts of the tourism hotspot after claims it has fallen into “disrepair”.

Share

CommentComments