The impact of Coronavirus on Australia’s tourism industry should warrant the Federal Government to double its original investment of $76 million to support the industry reliant on Chinese visitors, says the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).
ATIC has confirmed it has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison as well as Federal and Assistant Tourism Ministers, outlining the impact of Coronavirus and saying it will likely exceed the financial impact of the recent bushfires.
According to ATIC Executive Director, Simon Westaway, the federal government must get on the front foot and ready to absorb some of the financial blow caused by travel restrictions imposed recently, which ban any non-citizen or non-resident travelling from or through China with passage into Australia.
“ATIC believes however this unprecedented state of affairs impacting the Australian tourism industry requires a further necessary and immediate investment of $76 million,” said Westaway.
Under the new proposal, existing initiatives recently kickstarted by the government’s initial Tourism Recovery Package, would save existing tourism jobs, address cash flow pressures and prop up businesses with recovery grants and support programs such as deferring BAS payments. From this new capital injection, a further $25 million would be provided to Tourism Australia to continue to market Australia as ‘open for business’ overseas.
“Given the similar economic impacts that industry faces, a mirror-like additional $76 million in immediate federal funds to counteract coronavirus’ many interrelated economic affects we consider not just timely, but necessary,” Westaway added.