Tourism

Tourism industry rescue package to be unveiled in “a matter of days”, says Treasurer

Australia’s tourism industry will find out within days what kind of financial support will be provided by the federal government, according to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

During a visit to business operators in Cairns on Monday, Frydenberg said the government still had $100 billion in financial aid to roll out to business and industry, having already committed $251 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Canberra Times.

But the Treasurer noted there were specific hurdles for the tourism and aviation sectors that required a response from the government.

“We’re still finalising those details, but it’s a matter of days,” Frydenberg said.

“What I’ve heard from some businesses that I’ve met is that some are doing well and others are finding it a bit more challenging … so it’s about targeting that support, but also providing opportunities for those who are doing okay to even take on more workers.”

Elements of the government’s targeted support package will include funding for airlines, tourism operators and accommodation providers, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

The Nine-owned news outlet reported that direct cash payments to certain businesses that have been smacked around the most by COVID-19 are also expected to form part of the package, as well as low-interest, government-backed loans.

The tourism support package will arrive just before the government winds back JobKeeper on 28 March.

Simon Westaway, executive director of the Australian Tourism Export Council, said the federal tourism package must include direct financial assistance to all at-risk businesses in the sector.

“The tourism businesses in the capital cities are most at risk due to the downturn in interstate travel,” he said.

“The tourism industry is not looking for more grant programs or pork-barrelling in a few regions.

“Direct financial assistance should go to all tourism businesses at risk, including sole traders and small family businesses, as well as major airlines.”

Westaway warned that tourism businesses are already planning mass redundancies across the industry due to the lack of certainty with the impending end of JobKeeper.

Meanwhile, the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has warned against the government replacing JobKeeper for aviation workers with interest-free loans to businesses, saying the move will result in a skills-drain from the industry.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine is calling on the government to introduce ‘Aviation Keeper’, an extension to JobKeeper for all aviation workers with strict conditions capping CEO salaries, banning bonuses and dividends, and banning outsourcing.

“Aviation is about to bleed skills as JobKeeper falls off a cliff. The only solution the federal government appears able to come up with is to replace it with free money to companies without any conditions attached on retaining workers,” he said.

“This exposes how the federal government has no plan and no strategy for aviation.”

“Interest-free loans are another way of saying ‘bailout’. Now is the time for the federal government to secure a real return for the taxpayer and to take an equity stake in ailing aviation companies.

“This way, the interests of passengers and workers can be at the forefront instead of the interests of CEOs and shareholders.

“We can retain skills in our industry and ensure affordable, reliable air travel throughout Australia rather than propping up senior management at the likes of Qantas, which want the public subsidies but still get to call the shots, including outsourcing workers.”


Featured image source: iStock/FluxFactory


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Destinations

Brisbane Airport flags elements of “great concern” in Queensland’s reopening roadmap

Premier Palaszczuk’s reopening roadmap for Queensland hasn’t gone down too well with the state’s main airport.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Barry Mayo talks border reopenings and the silver lining of confusing travel restrictions

The industry veteran reckons ever-changing global travel restrictions may have a silver lining for agents.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Eerie ancient ruins meet brimming coral gardens: Your guide to selling Bohol

by Sponsored by Philippines Department of Tourism

There’s more to Bohol than bug-eyed tarsiers and the dramatic scenery of the Chocolate Hills. Take a closer look at one of the most visited destinations in the Philippines’ and craft a genuinely unique experience for your clients.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Six airport workers charged over plans to import “large quantity” of drugs into Sydney

The Sydney Airport workers might have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for COVID-19 disrupting flight schedules.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Wyndham unveils new all-inclusive resort brand

The hotel franchising giant has pulled back the curtains on brand number 22, debuting with a couple of bangin’ beachfront properties.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Australia’s internationally recognised vaccine certificate to be released tomorrow

Overseas jaunts are one step closer, with the federal government ready to hit ‘go’ on our new COVID-19 international vaccine certificates.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Google can now estimate carbon emissions for almost all flights

You don’t even need to book through Google Flights to see the CO2 estimate… we’re not suggesting agents steal the info as an add-on for clients, but also we are.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

The positive reactions to NSW’s big international travel news continue, but not all industry figures are happy

The overall response to the NSW government’s big international travel announcement on Friday has, unsurprisingly, been a very positive one, but not all industry figures are dancing in the street.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

CLIA adds extra support for agent recovery to 2022 membership

Agents who sign up to be a CLIA member will score access to bonus commissions, live events and an expanded education program.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Thailand to scrap quarantine for select overseas visitors

The country is still recording more than 10,000 cases a day and has only fully vaccinated 33 per cent of its population, but Thailand’s PM said reopening was a crucial step to save the economy.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Ukrainian airline scraps heels and tight skirts for comfy suits and Nike sneakers

This airline has given its cabin crew uniform a modern update that ditches tight-fitting, restrictive clothing and high heels for something a bit more suited to the job.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid snares majority stake in New Zealand’s Haka Tours and ANZ Nature Tours

The global travel B Corp has kicked off its future growth plans with a 60 per cent slice of not one, but two touring brands.

Share

CommentComments