Tourism businesses in small towns, major cities and regional tourism centres have seen millions of dollars in bookings cancelled and their future bookings evaporate.
While regional lockdowns are affecting people in many, largely localised areas of the country, Australian tourism businesses nationwide are feeling the enormous financial impact of this recent round of border closures.
Tourism businesses in small towns, major cities and regional tourism centres have seen millions of dollars in bookings cancelled and their future bookings evaporate despite not being directly affected by the current lockdown restrictions.
“Tourism businesses are uniquely affected by metropolitan lockdowns as they don’t need to be in Sydney or Melbourne to have their business wiped out,” ATEC Managing Director Peter Shelley said.
“From the Northern Territory to Tasmania, North Queensland to the Kimberleys, the tourism industry has once again been hit with another disaster which has seen the loss of another peak season income opportunity.
“Lockdowns in major cities halt the travel and holiday plans of hundreds of thousands of people and this flows on to massive cancellations across the country as people are either unable to travel or they lose confidence in doing so.
“Australian tourism businesses are not only suffering from the ongoing loss of international visitors, they are battling a consistently shifting domestic travel environment where people are losing confidence in their ability to go anywhere.”
With the Federal Government last week outlining a national COVID transmission plan, Mr Shelley said it was clear that the only way Australians can reclaim their ability to plan and travel is to get behind the COVID vaccine and help to protect the community.
“We recently reached out to our members to check how they were managing vaccinations and found most staff have already been vaccinated with many businesses offering time off for their staff to get their jab.
“Without mass vaccinations, both domestic and internationally focused tourism businesses, worth more than $150bn to our economy annually, will continue to be victims to stop-start border closures and localised COVID outbreaks.
"The only way we can have some certainty for our industry, is to support the vaccination roll out to help protect our community and reopen our economy."