The tourism industry is set to shed tens of thousands more jobs when the JobKeeper subsidy expires in September according to research commissioned by the Tourism and Transport Forum (TTF).

The research conducted by Stafford Strategy reveals monthly job losses for the industry will peak at over 130,000 in December 2020 carrying through to March 2021 if JobKeeper is not extended for tourism businesses well into next year.

The Tourism and Transport Forum of Australia [TTF], the industry’s peak body – representing accommodation, aviation, cruise, major and business events, attractions and arts and culture – is calling for the subsidy to be extended to the industry until March 2021 in it’s submission to the JobKeeper Review, currently being undertaken by Federal Treasury.

TTF CEO Margy Osmond said the industry, both domestic and international, has been losing almost $10 billion per month since COVID 19 enforced lockdowns came into place and all this coming off the back of a catastrophic bushfire season that decimated tourism reliant destinations across the country.

“While our State borders are gradually starting to reopen and people have either started to or are making plans to travel, any uptick in domestic tourism not be sufficient to fill the $4 billion black hole left by the lack of international inbound travel.

“The tourism industry has continued to support the Government’s response to COVID 19 and applauded their efforts to protect the health of Australians. But we are calling on the Federal Government to recognise the ongoing restrictions that have crippled tourism-related business and employees.

“While we understand the JobKeeper scheme cannot go on indefinitely tourism-related businesses have borne the brunt of government-ordered business closures and border closures.

“The seasonal nature of our sector means operators need more time to rebuild their businesses. Many will have no opportunity to do so unless JobKeeper is extended until March 2021.” To survive 2020’s perfect storm the industry must have further critical support.”

Stafford Strategy Managing Partner Albert Stafford said the job losses that would occur if JobKeeper is not extended for the tourism industry were quite alarming.

“The sector is fighting for survival and real recovery won’t happen until full international travel reopens, which as we know is some way off. Ongoing Government assistance will be crucial if many businesses are to come out the other side and to keep people in jobs.”