August 10, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

The Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) along with state and territory tourism peak bodies have called on state and Federal Governments to support the tourism, events and hospitalities industries with three key measures as the three sectors are likely to face difficult and unpredictable times for the rest of 2021 with closed borders and cities and regions fluctuating in and out of lockdown.

“Throughout the past 18 months, tourism and hospitality businesses have been disrupted, repeatedly locked down and remain effectively cut off from their customers, both domestically and internationally,” said ATIC Deputy Chair, Daniel Gschwind.

“Even if we are not in a lockdown situation, the ongoing operating restrictions and lack of access for visitors will continue to burden an industry that relies on people being able to move freely across the country – and across borders.

“This presents a clear and present danger to the sustainability of the entire sector in every part of the country and we need urgent action.”

ATIC has set out an “emergency plan” to help the three industries survive the current period of uncertainty.

ATIC’s plan asks Governments to:

  • provide targeted financial assistance to impacted businesses, suggesting something similar to what is being provided to the aviation sector could be appropriate
  • reintroduce the flexibilities provided by the Fair Work Act during JobKeeper which allowed actions including stand-downs of staff, and variance of working hours and days, in combination with a wage subsidy to keep employers connected with staff and give employees more certainty of employment
  • produce a more detailed COVID-19 Transition Roadmap to shed greater light on the pathway to recovery for industry operators.